A man, 26, clad in his underwear plowed a maroon-colored car into a street crowded with pedestrians in Melbourne, Australia, killing three and injuring at least 20 others on Friday. His actions appeared to have been deliberate. Officials are ruling out that it was an act of terrorism. One of the three people killed was a child.
The New York Times reported that Victoria State Police Acting Commander Stuart Bateson said that early on Friday afternoon, Melbourne time, a man drove in erratic circles through the middle of a major downtown intersection. The man then turned the car and began driving “onto the Bourke Street Mall, a pedestrian-only road.” He appeared to act deliberately as he mowed people down and then continued onto a sidewalk where he struck several other people.
According to FOX News, witnesses said that the driver of the maroon-colored car looked like he was “Middle Eastern.” A witness who spoke to Melbourne’s Herald-Sun newspaper said loud Arabic music could be heard blaring from the car.
The man driving the vehicle was shot by the police and arrested. His injuries were non-life threatening. The police said he was taken to a local hospital where he received treatment for his injuries. The man’s name has not been released yet by the police, who said there was no further threat posed to the public. Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the incident in Melbourne was not linked to terrorism.
When Ashton addressed the press, he said that the driver of the car had “a history of mental health and drug abuse issues, and has an extensive record of domestic violence.” He reportedly also assaulted members of his own family last weekend and “was involved in a domestic stabbing incident.”
Ashton stated during the press conference that two adults and one child was killed by the driver of the car. At the time of the press conference, he said at least 15 others were injured. The number of injured has now been updated to at least 20, BBC News reported.
Ten of the injured victims were transported to the Royal Children’s Hospital where they are being treated for their injuries. Another six were taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital.
Video footage shot from a news helicopter showed several Melbourne police officers standing over a man. The man can be seen in the video wearing only his underwear and lying on the sidewalk. It appeared that his hands were cuffed behind his back.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy Twitter