December 2017 Melbourne car attack

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December 2017 Melbourne car attack
Elizabeth Street tram terminus, Melbourne.jpg
Corner of Flinders Street and Elizabeth Street, where the incident took place, as seen in February 2006
Location Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Coordinates 37°49′06″S 144°57′54″E / 37.8182°S 144.9650°E / -37.8182; 144.9650Coordinates: 37°49′06″S 144°57′54″E / 37.8182°S 144.9650°E / -37.8182; 144.9650
Date 21 December 2017 (2017-12-21)
4:41 pm (AEDT)
Attack type
Vehicular attack[1][2]
Weapons Suzuki Vitara
Deaths 1
Non-fatal injuries
18 (including the driver)
Accused Saeed Noori[3]

On 21 December 2017, at 4:41 pm AEDT, a driver rammed pedestrians with his car at the corner of Flinders Street and Elizabeth Street in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, injuring eighteen people, including himself. An elderly man subsequently died from his injuries.

Incident[edit]

According to witnesses and police, the driver, Saeed Noori, deliberately ran a red light then accelerated into an area with a speed limit of 40 kilometres per hour (25 mph) where he ran into the pedestrians.[4][5][6] His car then hit a bollard beside a tram stop.[4][5] The nineteen injured included nine foreign nationals: three from South Korea, and one each from China, Italy, India, Venezuela, Ireland, and New Zealand.[7][8] An off-duty officer of the Victorian Police was credited with quickly subduing the suspect[9] who was wrestled to the ground, handcuffed, and arrested.[10]

A second man, filming the incident, was also arrested and found to be carrying a bag containing three knives and a quantity of marijuana. It was subsequently determined that he was not directly involved in the incident.[11]

On 21 December, Victoria Police Commander Russell Barrett stated "At this stage we believe it is a deliberate act."[12] As a result of the incident, nineteen people were taken to a hospital. As of 23 December 2017, three were in a critical condition.[13]

One victim, Antonis Crocaris (83), died in hospital on 29 December 2017.[14][15]

Perpetrator[edit]

Noori, aged 32, was known to police for a 2010 assault and had a history of drug use and mental health issues.[16] In June 2017, he was convicted and fined $1000 for driving without a license, using a mobile phone while driving and failing to answer bail.[17] Noori was unlicensed at the time of the December incident, and was driving a vehicle that belonged to a relative.[18]

Noori appeared in court on 23 December, charged with 18 counts of attempted murder and one count of reckless conduct endangering life. He was remanded in custody and ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment.[19] After his arrest he exhibited drug addiction withdrawal symptoms and was suspected to have other illnesses, including a psychiatric one. He was on medication for mental health issues.[20]

Noori is an Australian citizen of Afghan descent who entered Australia in 2004 with six other siblings as a refugee.[21] Noori had a two-year-old son and at the time of the attack his wife was pregnant with their second child. [22]In an informal police interview he "spoke of dreams and voices, but also attributed some of his activities as well due to the mistreatment of Muslims".[23] Noori also made comments in regarding Allah and ASIO following his arrest.[24] One of Noori's co-workers at the call centre where they worked said: "There was always talk of his religious beliefs, he was very strong in that. People would say 'I believe in God' and he'd say 'you need to believe in Allah'." [25] On 22 December the Victorian Police stated that while they had not yet determined Noori's motivations, "we haven't found anything at all to indicate his linkage or involvement with any type of extremism with any terrorism organisation or anything of a terrorist nature".[26]

Reactions[edit]

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that Melbourne has "special challenges", including wide streets, wide footpaths and tramways, which enable a driver to make such an attack. It would be impossible to install bollards in every part of the city.[27]

Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews praised the off-duty police officer who responded first, saying he "instinctively came to the aid of others, in the protection of public order, and potentially, avoiding so much other carnage".[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Melbourne officials investigating motive in latest vehicle attack". cbc.ca.
  2. ^ "Kiwi injured in Melbourne vehicle attack released from hospital". 22 December 2017 – via www.nzherald.co.nz.
  3. ^ "Live Melbourne CBD attack day two: 19 injured after SUV mows down pedestrians". The Age Victoria. 21 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b Davey, Melissa; Doherty, Ben; MacFarlane, Stuart (21 December 2017). "Flinders Street: two arrested after car crashes into pedestrians in Melbourne". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Flinders Street driver had history of drug use, mental illness". ABC News. 21 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Several critically hurt as SUV rams pedestrians in Australia". CBS News. 21 December 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  7. ^ Wahlquist, Calla (22 December 2017). "Three people in critical condition after Flinders Street crash". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  8. ^ "Nine foreigners among Melbourne car attack injured". Agence France-Presse. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Hero off-duty cop was first to respond to Flinders Street incident". SBS News. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Melbourne crash: Driver arrested after hitting pedestrians". BBC News. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  11. ^ Cowie, Tom (22 December 2017). "Melbourne CBD attack: Who was the man in the red shirt?". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  12. ^ ABC News [@abcnews] (21 December 2017). "At this stage we believe it is a deliberate act" (Tweet). Retrieved 22 December 2017 – via Twitter.
  13. ^ "Accused Flinders St driver charged with 18 counts of attempted murder". abc.net.au. 23 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Northcote man Antonios Crocaris, 83, dies in hospital from injuries suffered in Flinders Street". theage.com.au. 30 December 2017.
  15. ^ http://neoskosmos.com/news/en/Greek-community-mourns-the-first-fatality-of-the-Flinders-Street-attack-Antonios-Crocaris
  16. ^ "Melbourne incident driver tells police of 'mistreatment of Muslims' as investigation continues". sbs.com.au.
  17. ^ Esveld, Olivia. "Flinders Street Driver Had Previously Been Convicted Of Driving Offences". kiis1011.com.au.
  18. ^ Bucci, Nino; Mills, Tammy; Cowie, Tom (22 December 2017). "Melbourne CBD attack: Flinders Street driver Saeed Noori convicted of unlicensed driving" – via The Age.
  19. ^ Mills, Tammy; Bucci, Nino (23 December 2017). "Accused Flinders Street driver Saeed Noori remanded after appearing in court" – via The Sydney Morning Herald.
  20. ^ Press, Australian Associated (27 December 2017). "Flinders Street crash: Saeed Noori may be unfit for trial, lawyers say" – via www.theguardian.com.
  21. ^ Westcott, Ben; Morris-Marr, Lucie (December 2017). "Melbourne car attack: Driver had mental health issues, no terror connection". CNN.
  22. ^ The West Australian 12/26/2017
  23. ^ "Melbourne car attack: Flinders St driver spoke of Muslims' 'mistreatment' but had no terror links, police say". ABC. 22 December 2017.
  24. ^ "Flinders St rampage: Accused rampage driver's Allah, ASIO rants". www.heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  25. ^ "Emotional mother of Flinders Street accused lashes out". www.msn.com.
  26. ^ "Flinders Street driver was on mental health plan, had no known terror links: Melbourne police". ABC News. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  27. ^ Reporters, Staff (22 December 2017). "Melbourne CBD attack: City has 'special challenges' when it comes to stopping such incidents, says Prime Minister" – via The Sydney Morning Herald.
  28. ^ "Hero off-duty cop who tackled Flinders St driver receiving treatment in hospital". abc.net.au. 22 December 2017.