Bourke Street attacker 'failed in his plan to cause explosion'

Geneva Stokes
November 12, 2018

A knife-wielding man went on a stabbing spree in Melbourne Friday, Australian authorities said - crashing his truck and setting it on fire and confronting police before they shot him.

Footage from the scene shows a man earlier swinging a knife at two uniformed officers near a burning auto before he was shot. One of the officers raises his weapon, a shot is heard and the man falls to the ground clutching his chest.

A man, believed to be the driver, stabbed three people and was then shot by police.

Mobile phone footage of those at the scene has been posted on social media showing a man lunging at police officers with a knife as a vehicle was engulfed in flames nearby.

The authorities say Australia's vigilance has helped it to foil at least a dozen plots, including a plan to attack downtown Melbourne at Christmas in 2016.

"I don't know what the police were doing, for a good two to three minutes they were trying to grab him, tackle him down when a lot of people were screaming".

Officers said the auto contained several barbecue gas cylinders.

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Clayton said there is no known link to terrorism, but stressed the investigation is still in its early stages.

The Victoria Police on Friday arrested a man after multiple people were hurt in a rush hour stabbing incident in Melbourne's Bourke Street.

Bourke Street reopened on Saturday morning with an increased police presence in the area. A man has been shot by police after setting his auto on fire and stabbing several people in a mall in Melbourne's CBD this afternoon.

"It looks like he's attempted to ignite a fire in the vehicle, we believe at this stage with a view to igniting those canisters with some sort of explosion, but that didn't eventuate", Mr Ashton told reporters.

The local police have not yet publicly identified the man. Two other men, aged 26 and 58, are in a hospital with what police describe as non-life threatening injuries.

About 6pm, Victoria Police Superintendent David Clayton holds a press conference just metres from where the incident unfolded. "Police are now at an incident on Bourke St in the CBD".

"Because he was on his stomach, they turned him over to see if he's alright, he was still alive", nearby KFC worker Markel Villasin told AAP. James Cargasoulas is accused of driving his vehicle into pedestrians.

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