SYDNEY: A knife-wielding man killed one person, injured another and attempted to stab several others in a central Sydney attack on Tuesday (Aug 13).
Police said a 21-year-old Sydney man with a history of mental illness is believed to have killed a woman of around the same age in a residential unit, before going on the rampage across the city centre.
New South Wales police commissioner Mick Fuller said he had no known links to terror organisations, but he did have a thumb drive with details of mass-casualty white-supremacist attacks in the United States and New Zealand.
The incident brought the central business district in Australia's largest city to a standstill in the early afternoon.
A 41-year-old woman was taken to hospital after being stabbed in the back. She is in a stable condition.
RESIDENTS HAILED AS HEROES FOR STOPPING SUSPECT
Images broadcast by Australian media showed a man jumping on the roof of a car brandishing a knife.
The man fell to the ground when the car moved and was confronted by a person holding a chair, a video showed.
Other footage showed the man pinned to the ground by several people holding two chairs and a milk crate on top of him.
"Five or six others were chasing him behind, trying to stop him, they caught him and restrained him," Witness Megan Hales told reporters.
Four of the pursuers were Colombian-born Alex Roberts, as well as Britons Lee Cuthbert and brothers Paul and Luke O'Shaughnessy - all colleagues at a recruitment consultancy who raced from their fourth-floor office to the street.
"We've opened the window and seen the guy wielding a knife and jumping on the bonnet" of a nearby car, Paul O'Shaughnessy, a former professional footballer, told reporters.
Convinced it was a terrorist attack, his brother Luke - a champion Muay Thai boxer - led the chase.
"We all just ran down the building and chased him down the street," said Roberts. "Everyone was kind of panicking, no one really knew what was happening," he said. "Not your normal Tuesday afternoon."
Cuthbert said Luke, with the help of another man, "managed to get him down on to the floor and pin him down" with chairs and a plastic crate before police arrived.
Police said the suspect's motive is unclear.
"It would appear at this stage it is unprovoked but we are keeping a very open mind as we move forward," police spokesman superintendent Gavin Wood said, hailing the action of the bystanders.
"To approach a person ... with clear evidence of a stabbing previously, these people are heroes."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also praised the bravery of the onlookers.
"The attacker is now in police custody following the brave actions of those who were present at the scene and were able to able to restrain him," he said in a tweet.
"Our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by this violent attack."