TAKEN DOWN

Irish Daily Mirror - - NEWS - BY MATTHEW YOUNG m.young@mir­ror.co.uk

A KNIFE­MAN clutches his chest as he is shot by po­lice af­ter a ter­ror ram­page in Mel­bourne in which one shop­per was killed and two in­jured.

Dra­matic footage shows of­fi­cers scuf­fling with the man, named as 31-year-old Mo­hamed Khalif, as he slashed at them yes­ter­day be­fore be­ing taken down.

Mem­bers of the pub­lic can be seen try­ing to help po­lice con­trol the at­tacker as his ve­hi­cle burns. He had set it on fire af­ter crash­ing it in the street.

The knife­man later died in hos­pi­tal. Is­lamic State claimed re­spon­si­bilty for the ter­ror at­tack, say­ing it was in re­sponse to coali­tion forces fight­ing IS in the Mid­dle East.

Daniel An­drews, Pre­mier of Vic­to­ria, said his Aus­tralian state “will not be de­fined by this”. Thank­ing po­lice for a “very quick re­sponse”, he said they had “done each and ev­ery one of us proud”.

Mr An­drews added: “Strangers and by­standers, who knew no­body in­volved, stepped in with­out a mo­ment’s hes­i­ta­tion. They, too, are peo­ple whose qual­i­ties make us all proud as well.

“We ex­tend our thoughts and prayers to all who are in­jured and ex­tend our deep­est, deep­est sym­pa­thies.” The So­ma­lian had mounted the kerb of a city-cen­tre street in a Holden Rodeo pick-up truck and crashed it at 4.20pm.

Po­lice found it loaded with “bar­be­cuestyle” gas cylin­ders. The lone wolf then charged at shop­pers with a blade.

Of­fi­cials said po­lice ar­rived “al­most within a minute”. Footage shows a brave by­stander re­peat­edly try­ing to ram the at­tacker with a shop­ping trol­ley as of­fi­cers are tus­sling with him.

A body un­der a sheet could later be seen in the street.

Khalif, who re­port­edly also went by the name Has­san Shire, is said to have been known to counter-ter­ror agen­cies.

He and his fam­ily are be­lieved to have ties with North African ex­trem­ist groups.

Khalif ’s brother Ali Khalif Shire Ali, 21, was re­port­edly ar­rested in Novem­ber 2017 over a foiled ter­ror at­tack in Fed­er­a­tion Square, also in the heart of the city.

Khalif ’s pass­port was can­celled sev­eral years ago as he was said to have been noted as one of 300 po­ten­tial se­cu­rity risks. Po­lice are thought to be un­able to get in touch with Khalif ’s wife, and be­lieve she is miss­ing and rad­i­calised.

Of yes­ter­day’s at­tack, Vic­to­ria Po­lice Chief Com­mis­sioner Gra­ham Ash­ton said: “A four-wheel-drive util­ity drove into Bourke Street and parked there. “One male was in the ve­hi­cle. A fire was then started in that ve­hi­cle.

“He got out of the ve­hi­cle, en­gaged with some mem­bers of the pub­lic at that lo­ca­tion.

“Al­most within a minute, po­lice of­fi­cers were in at­ten­dance in an un­marked ve­hi­cle.

“He as­saulted one of the po­lice of­fi­cers through the ve­hi­cle win­dow by punch­ing him. At that time other po­lice were start­ing to ar­rive.

“He pro­duced a knife and at­tempted to at­tack the of­fi­cers. One of the of­fi­cers fired his firearm and shot the of­fender once in the chest.” Of­fi­cer walks past body un­der sheet

DEAD

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