- A man ignited his car and then stabbed three passersby on a busy street in Melbourne, Australia, on Friday afternoon local time.
- One of the victims succumbed to his injuries in hospital. The two other victims remain in hospital.
- Police shot the suspect Hassan Shire Ali in the chest. He also died from his gunshot wound in hospital.
- Police are treating the incident as a terror attack.
- Ali, 30, came to Australia from Somalia in the 1990s, was known to both state police and federal intelligence agencies.
One man died and two others were injured after a man stabbed passersby on a busy street in Australia’s second-largest city on Friday.
Police were called to an incident in Bourke Street, in the heart of Melbourne, after reports of smoke and a car in flames at 4:20 p.m. local time.
The suspect, Hassan Shire Ali, punched an officer and threatened them with a knife. At the same time, passersby called out that members of the public had been stabbed.
One passerby was popular cafe owner Sisto Malaspina, who had gone for a walk just 400 yards from his Pelligrini’s restaurant. It appears Malaspina may have gone to provide help, but according to witness accounts Ali got out of the car as it burned and suddenly stabbed the 74-year-old in the neck.
The Somali-born assailant then continued on his rampage, stabbing Rod Patterson, 58, in the head and a 24-year-old security guard.
Both men remain in hospital but are expected to recover from their injuries.
Ali was shot in the chest by police and later died in hospital. He was known to both state police and federal intelligence authorities and lived in northern Melbourne.
Fire and rescue officials also found gas cylinders inside Ali’s vehicle. Police are treating the incident as a terror attack.
The police officers who first responded to the scene received minor injuries.
Footage of the incident shows Ali swiping at officers with a kitchen knife while a passersby attempts to mow him down with a shopping cart. The man, identified as Michael Rogers, has been dubbed “Trolley Man,” and has been dubbed a hero.
Rogers, who is reportedly of no fixed address, said he got involved on the “spur of the moment.”
Rogers told Fairfax media he was “no hero” and has himself done 5 years jail time for aggravated burglary, he added that in the past had a long history of drug use.
A GoFundMe page set up by a Melbourne woman has already pulled in more than $110,000 for Rogers in just a day as a thank you for his bravery.
Friday’s incident occurred in the same street where the accused driver James Gargasoulas allegedly drove down pedestrians during the lunchtime rush in January 2017. Gargasoulos is on trial in the Victorian Supreme Court after pleading not guilty to six counts of murder and 27 counts of reckless conduct endangering life over the incident.