MELBOURNE, Australia — The police shot a knife-wielding man in downtown Melbourne, Australia, on Friday, moments after he stabbed three people, killing one and wounding two others.
Witnesses said the man emerged from a car, which then burst into flames, shortly after 4 p.m. He 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 brandishing 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 the hospital and was in critical condition, the police said.
There is “no known link to terrorism at this stage,” Superintendent David Clayton said at a news conference shortly after the episode. He said the police were currently looking for any other suspects, but that the investigation was in its “very early stages.”
“Someone screamed, ‘I think he has a knife,’ and I turned around and saw the car on fire,” said Meegan May, who was a passenger on a tram that passed the scene of the attack.
The identities of the victims, including their ages and genders, have not yet been released.
Knives are the weapon most commonly used in homicides in Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a government agency. In 2015, the most recent year from which comprehensive data is available, 30 percent of all murders in Australia involved knives, as did 26 percent of attempted murders.
The incident occurred less than a year after an attack on the same street, in which a man barreled his car into a crowd, killing four pedestrians and injuring at least 20 others. His trial is underway this week in the Victorian Supreme Court.