On Thursday afternoon, just after 4:30 PM GMT time, a white Suzuki SUV struck pedestrians on Elizabeth and Flinders Street, a busy area in the centre of Melbourne, Australia. With 2 men arrested in regards to the incident and an estimated 19 people injured, here's everything you need to know about the attack.
The individual being named as the driver of the car is being identified as a 32-year-old Australian citizen with 'Afghan descent'. Police have taken him into custody and have said publicly that the man has a history of drug abuse and mental health issues.
Police also confirmed that a second man is also been detained in regards to the attack. He was found at the scene of the crime filming and carrying 3 knives in his backpack. Officials do not believe there is a connection between him and the driver.
It’s been couple of months now that I live in this city and I can just say: I LOVE MELBOURNE. Great city to live in and where people are so welcoming. Tonight let’s pray for the victims of a tragic incident at one of the city’s most frequent street and train station. #prayformelbourne
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"It is now believed he had no links to the incident, however he is still assisting police with enquiries," Victoria Police officers said.
Eye witnesses claim that the whole attack must have lasted 15 seconds total before the driver was stopped and detained by an off duty police officer.
Witness, Lachlan Read, told the Herald Sun,"He has gone straight through the red light at pace and it was bang, bang, bang. It was just one after the other," he said of the moment the vehicle started hitting people."
One local business owner recounts his experience saying, "I saw probably five to eight people on the ground with people swarming around them [to help]. Within a minute, I think, there were police on site, so it was very, very speedy."
Many have called out the local first responders for their speedy and organized response to the attack.
Authorities said the incident, which occurred just after 4:30 p.m. local time, was a "deliberate act," but repeatedly said they do not yet know the motivation, including whether it was terror-related.