The australian police and members of the public managed to detain and arrest an armed man with a knife who stabbed a woman in Sydney’s CBD. The injured woman has been taken to a hospital, according to police authorities.
Another woman was found dead inside an apartment in the same street. A third woman was taken to the police station injured, with a scarf wrapped around her wrist.
Police received multiple phone calls around 2 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon about a man armed with a knife in the vicinity of King Street. Over the next six minutes he stabbed a 41-year old woman in the back and attempted to stab even more people. Video footages showed the suspect shouting “Allahu Akbar.”
According to witnesses, the man, who was wielding a large butcher’s knife, jumped on to a moving car before being chased and detained by three members of the public using chairs and pipes. A number of emergency services and the police responded shorty after and the man, a 21-year old from Marayong, was taken into custody.
The woman was taken to the hospital and is reportedly in a stable condition. The man could be charged with homicide and serious assault charges.
Police said the man seemed to be acting alone and the stabbings appeared to be random. The motivation for the attack is not yet known. A thumb drive was found in the man’s possession with white supremacy material related to other crimes in north America and New Zealand.
NSW Police commissioner Mick Fuller said in a press conference that the suspect had a history of mental illness and they were investigating reports about him having escaped from a mental facility.
“I can say that he was known to police with but his history was unremarkable compared to the of gravity of the crimes he committed. I can say he does have a history of mental health, but at this stage, I can’t expand on that. No doubt in the coming days, the investigation will be looked closely at, not just the last couple of days, but certainly the last probably six months to 12 months,” Fuller said.
Supt. Gavin Wood of New South Wales police praised the three men who intervened and captured the armed man. The three British men identified as Lee Cuthbert, Paul O’Shaughnessy and Luke O’Shaughnessy were working nearby when they heard the commotion outside.
The suspect was pinned down with a chair and milk crate and then taken into custody by the police. Fuller too described the three saviours as the “highest-order heroes.”
The police said the suspect apparently had no links to terrorism or terrorist organizations, but more information will be released once the investigation is complete.