'Trolley Man' hailed a hero for confronting attacker in Melbourne knife attack

One dead after man sets car set alight, stabs pedestrians in Melbourne

One dead after man sets car set alight, stabs pedestrians in Melbourne

A man who set fire to a gas-laden truck in the centre of Melbourne and fatally stabbed one person before he was shot by police was inspired by ISIS but did not have direct links with the group, Australian police said on Saturday.

Police responded to the scene on Bourke Street after receiving reports of a auto on fire, Victoria Police Superintendent David Clayton told reporters shortly after the incident.

The suspect has been "known to police mainly in respect to relatives he has that are certainly persons of interest to us", Ashton said.

Witnesses then described that the police attempted to disarm the man with the help of two witnesses as the suspect kept lunging at them.

Video posted to Twitter and broadcast on television showed a man repeatedly swinging an object at two police officers in the downtown area of the city.

Police initially responded to reports of a vehicle on fire at the corner of Bourke and Swanston streets.

Other people on the scene threw chairs and tried to ram a shopping trolley into the attacker to take him out.

"We believe we have confirmation on the identity [and] there are ongoing investigations being conducted by counter-terrorism".

"There was a guy stabbed and there was a auto explosion in Bourke Street", he said.

"The assessment was made that whilst he had radicalised views he didn't pose a threat to the national security environment", Ian Mccartney, a federal police counterterrorism official said of Shire Ali.

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"He got out of the vehicle, engaged with some members of the public at that location". One person has been taken to hospital with a neck injury in a suspected critical condition, one with a head injury and a third with unknown injuries.

A witness who came out of KFC to see the commotion told ABC after the attack it looked "like police officers didn't know how to handle the situation". He was taken into custody in a critical condition.

In a statement on social media, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says, "Australians will never be intimidated by these appalling acts and we will continue to go about our lives and enjoy the freedoms that the terrorists detest".

Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews praised members of the public for stepping in.

He then started attacking people with a knife, stabbing two people, before he was shot by police.

"A moment later, I heard a loud bang, to me it sounded like a gunshot", she said.

Fire services discovered several "barbecue-style" gas bottles in the vehicle.

"People were running everywhere".

No police officers were injured in the attack and police have confirmed that they are not pursuing any other individuals in relation to the incident.

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