One person was killed and two others were gravely injured in a rush hour stabbing rampage in downtown Melbourne on Friday that saw police shoot a knife-wielding suspect near a burning vehicle.
Police said “officers initially responded to a report of a car on fire” in the city centre at 4:20 pm local time, but discovered at the scene that members of the public had been stabbed.
Media showed video footage of police then trying to restrain a large man in a dark tunic who was attacking, slashing and stabbing wildly at two officers as a pick-up truck burned close by.
The officers were seen trying for at least a minute to arrest the man peaceably as his attacks on them continued, before one office shot him with a weapon.
“A man was arrested at the scene and has been taken to hospital under police guard in a critical condition,” police Superintendent David Clayton said.
He said another person died at the scene and two others were undergoing treatment.
Clayton said “There is no known link to terrorism at this stage,”
“We will keep an open mind as to whether there is any link. It’s very early stage of the investigation.”
Police cautioned people to avoid the area and dispatched the anti-bomb squad to secure the area and examine the burning vehicle.
Officers further said they “are not looking for anyone further at this early stage.”
“The exact circumstances are yet to be determined at this stage. The area has been cordoned off,” Police said.
“Anyone with information or who witnessed the incident is asked to go to Melbourne West Police Station to make a statement. We will provide further information when it comes to hand”
The obvious attack came as a 28-year-old James Gargasoulas underwent trial in Melbourne for driving into a crowd in the same area in 2017, killing six people.