MELBOURNE, Australia – A knife-wielding man was fatally shot by the police in Melbourne on Friday after he stabbed three people, killing one, in what the authorities described as a terrorist attack.
Witnesses said the man emerged from a vehicle, which then burst into flames, shortly after 4 pm The police said there were gas cylinders in the vehicle. The man then began to attack pedestrians on Bourke Street, a busy shopping strip in Melbourne’s city center.
When officers arrived at the scene, they were confronted with the man burning a bloody knife. A video of the confrontation, which circulated on social media, shows a civilian bystander trying to help the police by repeatedly pushing a shopping cart at the man.
Officers ultimately shot the man in the chest and arrested him. The man, whose identity has not been disclosed, was taken to a hospital where he died about 30 minutes later, the police said.
“We are treating this as a terrorist incident,” Graham Ashton, chief commissioner of the Victoria Police said at a news conference. He said the Somali-born man had been known to the police.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, Reuters reported, although the group provided no evidence.
The names and ages of the victims, who were all but have not yet been released.
Knives are the most commonly used in homicides in Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a government agency. In 2015, het meest recente jaar van welke uitgebreide gegevens beschikbaar zijn, 30 procent van alle moorden in Australië betrokken messen, evenals 26 procent van de geprobeerde moordenaars.
Het incident gebeurde minder dan twee jaar na een aanval op dezelfde straat, in which a man barreled his car into a crowd, killing six pedestrians and injuring at least 30 others. His trial is underway this week in the Victorian Supreme Court.
“We will not be as a city be defined by this act of evil,” Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria, said of the attack Friday. “We will go about our business this weekend and every weekend.”