THIS IS VIC­TO­RIA

One dead, two in­jured Hero po­lice shoot knife-wield­ing man Ter­ror strikes Mel­bourne again

Geelong Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - DAVID HUR­LEY and ANEEKA SIMONIS

A KNIFE-WIELD­ING man who launched a deadly at­tack in Bourke St yes­ter­day had links to known con­victed ter­ror­ist plot­ters.

The man, of So­mali her­itage, stabbed one man to death and in­jured two oth­ers af­ter his Holden Rodeo ex­ploded in the CBD just af­ter 4pm.

Po­lice of­fi­cers and by­standers tack­led the man, who was known to the Aus­tralian Se­cu­rity In­tel­li­gence Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ASIO), as he lunged at them with a knife.

He was shot in the chest and died in hospi­tal last night.

Of­fi­cers were un­der­stood to be last night raid­ing the home of the man, who sources said was op­er­at­ing as a lone wolf.

Sev­eral gas cylin­ders were found in the ex­ploded car, ac­cord­ing to po­lice sources.

Bourke St was thrown into chaos by the deadly peak-hour ram­page, with hun­dreds of peo­ple flee­ing the scene out­side the Tar­get Cen­tre.

One of the by­standers who took on the man with the base of a traf­fic cone said “he had crazy eyes”.

The two in­jured vic­tims were be­ing treated af­ter be­ing stabbed in the up­per body.

The iden­tity of the man who died from stab wounds had not been re­leased at the time of go­ing to press.

Ter­ri­fy­ing video footage of the in­ci­dent showed the bearded man with a shaved head swing­ing a knife at po­lice be­fore he was shot by one of the of­fi­cers.

“The cops were back­ing off but he kept com­ing at them,” a wit­ness told News Corp.

Two by­standers stepped in to try to stop the knife­man, one us­ing a shop­ping trol­ley as a weapon.

Ter­ri­fied ob­servers were yelling “shoot him, shoot him”.

Wit­ness Chris­tian, who was in a nearby book­store, said he heard a loud noise and saw po­lice chas­ing a man.

“I heard a loud bang, I ran out­side and saw ev­ery­one was run­ning the other way,” Chris­tian said.

“I saw a man cov­ered in blood and also saw of­fi­cers chas­ing some­one.”

News Corp un­der­stands po­lice were last night look­ing into any as­so­ci­a­tions the man may have had in a bid to de­ter­mine if he was op­er­at­ing alone.

Heav­ily armed po­lice flooded the area in the min­utes af­ter the at­tack.

The ter­ror pub­lic ser­vice sys­tem sirens sounded in the CBD, the first time they have been used for an ac­tual in­ci­dent. They sounded be­fore 6pm and urged any­one with in­for­ma­tion about the in­ci­dent to con­tact po­lice.

Emer­gency text mes­sages were sent to peo­ple in the CBD area stat­ing: “Vic­to­ria Po­lice is re­spond­ing to an in­ci­dent at the cor­ner of Bourke and Swanston streets. Avoid the area.”

Of­fi­cers were ini­tially called to re­ports of a car fire near Bourke St, close to where ac­cused killer James Gar­ga­soulas al­legedly killed six peo­ple and in­jured dozens more in Jan­uary last year.

“Nearby po­lice quickly re­sponded to the in­ci­dent,” Su­per­in­ten­dent David Clay­ton said yes­ter­day.

“As they got out of the car they were con­fronted by a male who was bran­dish­ing a knife and threat­en­ing them.

“At the same time passer­bys were call­ing out that mem­bers of the pub­lic had been stabbed.”

He said po­lice shot the man in the chest and he was taken to hospi­tal un­der po­lice guard. The man later died.

“MFB have ex­tin­guished the car fire and the bomb unit are mak­ing sure the scene is safe,” Supt Clay­ton said.

“Po­lice at this stage are not look­ing for any other of­fend­ers.”

Pic­ture: NICK WEEKS

Po­lice said the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Fire Brigade ex­tin­guished the car fire, and the bomb unit also checked the scene.

TENSE SEC­ONDS: Po­lice at­tempt to sub­due a man, who had stabbed three peo­ple in cen­tral Mel­bourne, be­fore shooting him. The man was ar­rested at the scene and taken to hospi­tal in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion, where he later died.

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