SYDNEY (AP) — A knife-wielding man with a historical past of psychological sickness is suspected of slaying a girl in a downtown Sydney house earlier than wounding one other lady close by and making an attempt to stab different individuals Tuesday whereas yelling “Allahu akbar,” or “God is nice,” police and witnesses stated.
Police haven’t labeled the rampage an act of terrorism, though the 21-year-old assailant — who was restrained by members of the general public earlier than being arrested — had collected data on his pc about mass killings in North America and New Zealand, New South Wales state Police Commissioner Michael Fuller stated.
“It isn’t presently classed as a terrorist incident. Clearly because the investigation continues we are going to reassess that,” Fuller advised reporters.
“He’s by definition, for the time being, a lone actor. Info was discovered on him that may recommend he has some ideologies in relation to terrorism, however he has no hyperlinks to terrorism,” Fuller stated. “There was actually data discovered on him about different crimes of mass casualties and mass deaths world wide.”
A gunman who not too long ago killed 22 individuals at a Texas Walmart seems to have praised the March 15 shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, the place an Australian white supremacist is charged with killing 51 worshippers at two mosques.
Witnesses stated the assailant Tuesday was carrying a 30-centimeter (12-inch) knife and tried to stab a number of individuals close to a busy intersection in Australia’s largest metropolis at round 2 p.m. Fuller described the weapon as a butcher’s knife.
Police stated a person was arrested, and 41-year-old lady with a stab wound to her again was taken to a hospital in secure situation.
Police stated the physique of a 21-year-old lady was later found in a close-by fourth-floor house.
“A lot of members of the general public bodily restrained the offender,” Police Superintendent Gavin Wooden stated. “I need to acknowledge these members of the general public who obtained concerned. They have been considerably courageous individuals.”
Video confirmed that folks pinned the person to the pavement on his again with a plastic milk crate over his head and two chairs over his physique.
Wooden stated it appeared that the assault was unprovoked. The person “tried to stab a number of individuals. These makes an attempt, fortunately, have been unsuccessful,” Wooden stated.
Uber driver Leon Baghani stated the assailant, clutching a knife, jumped on the hood after which the roof of his Mercedes as he was driving an aged couple on the road the place the violence occurred.
“For a second, I believed possibly he is sporting a vest of some kind and he’ll detonate himself,” Baghani advised Ten Community tv. “So I shortly accelerated and made a left flip and made certain that he got here off the roof of the automotive.”
A witness advised reporters that the person was screaming feedback about faith, earlier than yelling to police that he wished to be shot. Police stated he used the Arabic phrase “Allahu akbar.”
A witness, Paul O’Shaughnessy, stated he and his brother Luke have been working within the workplace of their recruitment firm once they heard shouting by an open window. They seemed out and noticed a Caucasian man screaming “extremist” phrases, O’Shaughnessy stated.
The brothers, fearing the person was conducting a terrorist assault, ran right down to the road and started chasing the person, who was coated in blood.
Luke O’Shaughnessy and one other man caught up with the offender and tackled him to the bottom, Paul O’Shaughnessy stated. Together with different passers-by, they used a milk crate and a chair to maintain him pinned to the bottom, he stated.
Paul O’Shaughnessy advised The Related Press that the person “did not present any regret in any respect.”
Fuller stated the assailant had a “historical past of psychological well being.” He stated the assailant can be charged.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated on Twitter that the violence was “deeply regarding” and praised the individuals who restrained the assailant.
Related Press author Kristen Gelineau in Sydney and Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, contributed to this report.
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