A car has deliberately run over pedestrians on a busy street in the Australian city of Melbourne, killing at least 3 people and injuring 20 others, officials say. The driver – who is also believed to be linked to a stabbing – was taken into custody.
The incident happened at around 1:30 p.m. on Friday when a red car was seen driving erratically and at one point drove in circles in the middle of a busy intersection. The car then drove off before plowing into pedestrians on Bourke Street, which is a popular shopping street in Melbourne’s Central Business District.
Photos from the scene showed a large number of police, ambulances and fire trucks in the area and witnesses reported seeing multiple victims on the street. One man, believed to be the driver, is reported to have been shot by police before being taken into custody.
“What I can confirm is that a male deliberately drove into pedestrians at Bourke Street mall,” said Stuart Bateson of Victoria Police. He said that at at least 3 people had been confirmed dead while 20 others have been injured, some of them seriously.
St. Vincent’s Hospital said it had received 6 patients but provided no information about their conditions. The Alfred Hospital received 5 patients, of whom 3 were critically injured, and the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne received 4 patients, including 1 who is critically injured.
Among those killed is believed to be a baby who died after the car ran over a stroller on a sidewalk.
Although the man deliberately ran over pedestrians, the incident is not believed to be linked to terrorism. Bateson explained that the driver, whose name was not immediately released, is believed to be linked to an overnight stabbing that left one man critically injured.
Other details about a possible motive for the attack were not immediately known.
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