Three British men have been praised after they helped take down a knife-wielding man appearing to yell “Allahu akbar”, after he tried to stab several people in Sydney on Tuesday.
One woman was stabbed in the centre of the city, and another woman was found dead in a hotel room.
Lee Cuthbert, Paul O’Shaughnessy and Luke O’Shaughnessy, all from Manchester, were working in the area when they heard the attacker, PA Media reported.
Luke O’Shaughnessy, 30, said he “acted on instinct” after seeing a man holding a knife covered in blood.
“We heard a massive commotion outside and I looked outside and I could hear a man chanting.
“I shouted ‘Paul’ and said ‘Let’s go, there’s a man with a knife, it’s a terrorist attack’.”
Witnesses say the man, wielding a long knife, attempted to stab multiple people near a busy junction at around 2pm local time. Police have said they are not treating it as a terrorist incident.
Brit Paul O’Shaughnessy, 37, who also helped apprehend the suspect, said: “It’s almost like we’ve actually talked about it, like we’ve said ‘hopefully we are around because if it’s somebody with a knife and not a gun then we’re quite physical lads’.
“I just thought ‘Is my brother going to be alright?’ as we were running towards him.
“Luke’s straight in there on top of him and I’m looking at the scene going ‘there’s a big knife there which is covered in blood’.
“Luke, in fairness, did not let him go, he didn’t let go of the guy until he was fully cuffed and they’d picked him up.
“He’s really heroic to me in my eyes, he’s my brother.”
New South Wales police commissioner Mick Fuller told media: “It is not currently classed as a terror incident... As investigation continues we will reassess that.”
However the knifeman was described by police as a “lone actor” who may have some terrorist ideologies.
A woman has been found dead in a building following the knife attack and police are investigating the possibility the two incidents are linked.
Although the incident is not being treated as terror-related, the knifeman was described by police as a “lone actor” who may have some terrorist ideologies.
NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller said: “Information was found on him that would suggest he had some ideologies related to terrorism… but he has no apparent links to other terrorist organisations.”
Footage posted online appeared to show a suspect standing on a vehicle roof, holding a knife aloft and shouting.
Bystanders could later be seen having apprehended the suspect with chairs, encouraging others to stand back and leave the prone suspect on the floor.
New South Wales Police said in a statement that a man was arrested, and that a woman was taken to a hospital in a stable condition.
A man whose car was jumped on by the suspect said he had been doing some Uber driving at the time, and was carrying an elderly couple.
He said he saw that traffic had stopped and people were running, telling Nine News Sydney: “All of a sudden this guy appeared with a knife in his hand covered in blood, down the front shirt, and next thing I thought OK well obviously I can’t go through all these cars.
“As I’m thinking about doing something the guy jumps on the front of the car which was on the bonnet over here and then he goes up to the very top.”
He added: “I froze for probably a split second but then I thought I’m hoping that he’s not covered in any explosives or anything, so I quickly accelerated so he can get off the car.”
He said he drove left and then took a right turn where he could see the suspect again being chased by police and public.
“He was fearless. He was completely fearless,” he said, adding that he had “a big scary knife” in his hand.