On the 21st of December at 4:41pm in the Melbourne CBD, a white Suzuki Vitara struck a number of pedestrians at the intersection of Flinders and Elizabeth Street. The incident left 19 hospitalised with 12 still in hospital and four in critical condition. The Critical Incident Response Team of the Victorian Police arrived at the scene within seconds. The First on scene was an off-duty police officer that made the initial arrest of the driver. The officer sustained some injuries during the arrest and was taken to hospital.
The male driver of the car was Saeed Noori, a 32-year-old man Australian Citizen of Afghan descent who the police have stated has a history of assault, drug use and mental health issues. He was known to police but was not on bail or under any corrections orders. Also arrested at the scene was another 24-year-old male who had been filming the event. The unnamed male was found to be in possession of a bag containing knives.
The Victoria Police Commander Russell Barrett stated based on what they have seen “it is a deliberate act”. It is early on and the driver is undergoing a psychiatric assessment. The investigation process is continuing under the command of Detectives from Crime Command.
The motivations for the driver are still unknown and the Victorian Police are still yet to conduct an official interview at this stage. Acting chief commissioner Shane Patton told a press conference this morning that police briefly spoke with the man saying the man “spoke about dreams, he spoke about voices but he also did attribute some of his actions to the poor treatment of Muslims”. Mr Patton reiterating that there isn’t a definitive link to terrorism at this stage and there is no evidence to suggest it was an act of terrorism and as such the threat warning will not be increased. The investigation is ongoing.
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