Sheffield man caught up in Melbourne knife attack which left one dead and two in hospital

Adrian Brookes
Adrian Brookes

A Sheffield man on holiday in Australia was caught up in the aftermath of an incident where a man with a knife was shot by a police officers after he went on a rampage on a busy shopping street.

One person was killed and two are in hospital after the attacker struck on Melbourne’'s Bourke Street on what is Friday afternoon in Australia.

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Several bystanders and police officers were attacked during the incident.

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Horrifying mobile phone footage shared on social media showed a man lunging at police officers with a knife as a car was engulfed in flames nearby.

After taking several swings at one of the officers, the attacker was shot in his chest.

Victoria Police said they arrested a man who was taken to hospital in a critical condition under police guard.

Is it believed that the attacker had blown his car up before he went on the rampage.

Sheffield businessman Adrian Brookes, who runs SFL Machine Knives on Limestone Cottage Lane, Wadsley Bridge, is on holiday in Melbourne and was caught up in the aftermath of the incident.

He and a friend had just driven along the Foruma 1 route through Melbourne when they heard the sound of an explosion, which is believed to have been the attacker’s car going up in flames.

Mr Brookes, who is originally from Parson Cross but now lives in the Hope Valley, said: “First we heard a loud bang and could see the smoke, the next minute the police helicopter was circling and a guy with a huge camera ran past us. Then we could see the ABC news helicopter circling too.

“We where told to keep away from the area as the guy had a knife and had stabbed people, I was worried that it could be a planned attack and there could be more attackers.

“I’m not in Melbourne now , we got out.”

One eyewitness, who gave her name as Meegan, told ABC Radio Melbourne how she saw two police officers trying to tackle a man as a car burned.

"He seemed to be waving something, people around me screamed that he had a knife, but I couldn't see clearly from where I was," she said.

"And then I heard one loud bang. It sounded like a gunshot.

"And someone said they could see someone doing chest compressions on someone as an ambulance started coming up the street."

Superintendent David Clayton said investigators are ‘keeping an open mind’ and there was ‘no known link to terrorism at this stage’.

Officers had initially responded to a report of a car on fire on the popular shopping street at 4.20pm (5.20am GMT) on Friday.

Supt Clayton said: "Nearby police quickly responded to the incident. As they got out of the car, they were confronted by a male brandishing a knife and threatening them.

"At the same time passers-by were calling out that members of the public had been stabbed.

“Police shot the male in the chest and he is now in a critical condition under guard at hospital.

"Three people have been stabbed. Unfortunately one is deceased at the scene. Two other victims are currently in hospital."

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Police said the victims appeared to have been stabbed in the upper body.

Victoria's premier, Daniel Andrews, praised the police and bystanders who rushed to help ‘complete strangers’.

"Thank you to the @VictoriaPolice officers who responded so bravely, and the every day Victorians who came to the aid of complete strangers," he wrote on Twitter.

In one video posted on Twitter,  a man can be seen repeatedly lashing out at two officers, apparently with a knife.

Two people, apparently members of public - one with a shopping trolley - then come to the officers' aid.

After the attacker makes several attempts to strike one of the officers, the second officer appears to draw a gun before a single shot rings out.

The suspect can then be seen falling backwards on to the ground.

The incident occurred on the same street as a deadly car attack in January 2017 that left six people dead and at least 30 others wounded.