On Tuesday afternoon, a man went on a stabbing rampage in Sydney, Australia, having allegedly murdered a 21-year-old woman inside an apartment before he attacked others in the street, where he stabbed a 41-year-old woman in the back.
New South Wales police commissioner Mick Fuller called the attacks in the street six minutes of “terrifying carnage,” as The Guardian reported. The Guardian added, “Police say the man was arrested carrying a USB drive containing documents espousing ‘terrorist ideologies’ and detailing mass casualty crimes, including recent attacks in North America and New Zealand, but he did not have any known links to terror groups, and acted alone.”
A witness told Daily Mail Australia she saw fire and rescue workers with an axe and a crowbar join civilians who carried chairs chasing after the man. She added, “One of the guys who was chasing pushed him in the back, then as he was falling the firies got him in the legs, and then they pinned him down with the chairs. Then they just sat on him until the cops came.”
The Wall Street Journal reported, “Television images showed a young man in a bloodied shirt and black hooded sweatshirt being chased through the streets. He leapt onto the hood of a Mercedes-Benz car and waved a large butcher’s knife from its roof. When the car shot forward, the man fell off, and that is when several other men surrounded him. News footage showed his body pinned under a chair and his head under a milk crate while armed police handcuffed him.”
According to the BBC, Lee Cuthbert, Paul O’Shaughnessy and Luke O’Shaughnessy ran out from their office when they heard the commotion and ran out to catch the man; Luke O’Shaughnessy said he forced a “chair over the man’s legs, a chair over his torso and then a milk crate on his face” to hold him down.
Detective Superintendent Gavin Wood, of New South Wales Police, stated, “These people are heroes, and I want to acknowledge that. We will allege the offender has attempted to stab multiple people, luckily unsuccessfully.”
Video of the man’s rampage shows him brandishing a large knife while jumping on a car and screaming “shoot me in the head.” A Channel Seven cameraman who followed the man as he was chased by civilians filmed him as he was finally restrained, showing a bottle of pills labeled Antenex next to him; Antenex is a medication for anxiety and depression. Channel Seven stated that the man had recently escaped from a mental health facility.
According to The Daily Mail, Fuller said the suspect had been known to police, adding, “All the evidence we have at hand would link these two crimes (the killing and stabbing).”
The Daily Telegraph said a judge dismissed a charge against the man in June after the man had been caught with knuckledusters; the man was sentenced to nine months conditional release.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “The violent attack that took place in Sydney this afternoon is deeply concerning. 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.”