A knife-wielding man shouting Allahu Akbar ‘killed one person’ and attempted to stab several others in a central Sydney rampage today before being chased and pinned down by members of the public, including Britons.
A 21-year-old Sydney man with a history of mental illness – named as Mert Nay – is believed to have killed a woman of around the same age in a residential unit before going on the rampage across the city centre, say police.
New South Wales police commissioner said he had no known links to terror organisations, but he did have a thumb drive with details of mass-casualty white-supremacist attacks in the US and New Zealand.
A woman was rushed to hospital after being stabbed in the back during the rampage while the attacker also tried to knife several others near a busy intersection in Australia’s largest city, say police.
Officers also said they had discovered a body near the scene of the rampage. The dead woman was found inside an apartment, allegedly with her throat slit.
Dramatic footage shows the man, holding a large knife, jumping on top of a car while screaming ‘shoot me in the head’.
Brave witnesses, including Britons Lee Cuthbert and brothers Paul O’Shaughnessy and Luke O’Shaughnessy, all from Manchester, were eventually able to tackle the man and pin his head down with a milk crate until police arrived to make the arrest. Earlier, a businessman was seen
approaching the suspect armed with a chair.
‘I ran into the Woolworths and people inside got them to shut the glass doors. I was feeling OK until I saw a mother crying with her baby in her hands, trying to get into the Woolies.
‘Police started arriving about a minute later and started to chase him.’
An Uber driver said the knifeman jumped on the bonnet of his car with a knife in his hand and blood on his shirt.
He told 2GB: ‘I was next to a fire truck in York Street and he jumped on the bonnet of my car. He crashed across the bonnet and had a knife in his hand.
‘There was blood on his shirt. People had their phones out and there was a police’.
A woman at the scene told Daily Mail Australia: ‘A crazy man is running around Wynyard with a knife stabbing people.
‘My work colleague’s boyfriend was standing right next to the guy who was stabbed. Has the world gone mad?’
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described the incident as ‘deeply disturbing’ while commending the bravery over the bystanders who stepped in to help.
‘The violent attack that took place in Sydney this afternoon is deeply concerning. The attacker is now in police custody following the brave actions of those who were present at the scene and were able to able to restrain him,’ he shared on Twitter.
‘The motivation for this attack has not yet been determined as Police are continuing with their enquiries. Any further offical information will be provided by the New South Wales Police, who are keeping us appraised through our agencies, including details of casualties.’
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