One dead in Melbourne knife rampage 'terror attack'

Australian media have reported that police believe the attack was terrorism and that the suspect was known to the country’s security agency.

Witnesses said the man had parked a vehicle on Bourke Street, a busy shopping area in Australia’s second-largest city, before setting it alight.

Police had been called to the car at 4.20pm Friday, local time, by which time the man had already started attacking bystanders.

Earlier, Superintendent David Clayton had said investigators were “keeping an open mind” about motive.

He said that when police arrived, they were “confronted by a male brandishing a knife and threatening them”.

“At the same time passers-by were calling out that members of the public had been stabbed,” he added.

Two people, apparently members of the public, came to the aid of police, one using a shopping trolley and another using a chair to try and stop the attacker.

Social media footage showed the attacker trying several times to stab one of the officers before a second officer drew his gun and a single shot could be heard.

The attacker was shot in the chest by police, before he was arrested and taken to hospital.

Police said he was under guard and in a critical condition, although there are reports that he has died.

Mr Clayton confirmed three people had been stabbed, one of them had died at the scene.

The two other victims were in hospital, with local newspaper The Age reporting that one has a head injury and the other a neck injury.

The street was closed off and shops, including two large department stores, were evacuated.

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