Charlie Coë, Kelsey Wilkie, et al., Daily Mail, August 13, 2019
A blood-soaked man screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ has gone on a rampage with a butcher’s knife through central Sydney — allegedly killing a 21-year-old woman inside a unit and stabbing another in the back at a nearby pub.
The dead woman was found inside a King Street apartment, allegedly with her throat slit, after the knifeman was subdued by heroic bystanders about 2pm using chairs and a milk crate in Wynyard Street after he attempted to stab multiple people.
Police are investigating whether the alleged attacker, Mert Ney, 21, from Blacktown in the city’s west, had escaped from a mental institution.
They do not believe the incident is terror-related, and said the alleged attacker did not have links to any terrorist organisations — despite witnesses reporting the attacker was muttering religious slogans including ‘Allahu Akbar’.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said however they found information on the man including a USB stick ‘suggesting he had some ideologies related to terrorism’.
The thumb drive allegedly also referenced mass shootings in New Zealand and the USA — including March’s Christchurch terror attack.
Commissioner Fuller added the suspect had been known to police, although his prior history did not compare to his alleged actions in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Ney had a charge dismissed by a magistrate in June.
He was caught with knuckledusters but was dismissed under a Section 10 without conviction in Blacktown Local Court.
Police were called to his family home in Marayong after reports of ‘concern for welfare’ and seized the weapons.
He had a charge dismissed by a magistrate in June.
He was sentenced to a nine months conditional release order on the condition he didn’t commit another offence.
The conditions also outlined that Ney was to seek help for his mental health.
Just last Wednesday, August 7, he attended the emergency room at Blacktown Hospital while suffering from a drug overdose.
The alleged attacker is believed to have acted at random, and is expected to be charged later on Tuesday evening.
Police added a third woman also presented herself to a police station and had her hand wrapped in a scarf, but authorities suspect she may have only been a witness.
It is believed the woman who died in the attack was a sex worker and was known to Ney.
Medication was also found close to the alleged attacker, identified as a drug used to combat anti-anxiety called antinex, Channel Seven reported.
A spokesman for the city’s St Vincent hospital said the 41-year-old woman injured in Ney’s alleged attack was in a stable condition.
Dramatic footage showed a man, wearing a grey hooded jumper and holding a large knife, jumping on top of a Mercedes while screaming ‘shoot me in the head’.
Brave witnesses were able to tackle the man and pin his head down with a milk crate until police arrived and arrested him as hundreds of workers gathered.
In other footage, the alleged attacker was seen running down the pavement and at one point kicked a parked bicycle at a member of the public.
Police praised on Tuesday evening the civilians, fire fighters and ambulance staff for preventing ‘what could have been a much worse situation’.
NSW Police said the woman’s body was found in the unit on Clarence Street at 3.15pm, with a witness saying it was found on the building’s fourth floor.
He added authorities had little doubt the death of the woman in the hotel and the stabbing spree on the street were linked.
‘All the information we have at hand would link these two crimes,’ he said.
Officers on Tuesday evening were searching the alleged attacker’s home in Blacktown.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who is currently in London, said her thoughts were with the deceased.
‘I want to acknowledge the very brave passersby who obviously tried to intervene and our thoughts are with the victims and everyone who witnessed this horrific incident,’ she said.
‘Do you know how many people you just stabbed, you dog? You just stabbed a chick, mate, in broad daylight,’ one of the men was heard screaming during the arrest.
Moments before the attacker was arrested, another woman was found inside the Hotel CBD with a stab wound and taken to hospital in a stable condition.
A painter working on a mural near where the man was arrested witnessed him charging down the street with a ‘big kitchen knife’ with five or six people in close pursuit.
The heroic bystanders included two British brothers — one of whom played professional soccer for English club Bury.
Luke O’Shaughnessy watched as the incident unfolded before then subduing the crazed attacker by putting a milk crate over his head.
‘It was terrifying mate, it was really bad,’ his brother Paul told Daily Mail Australia.
Witness Jess Warren, 28, said she was was having lunch at the Regiment CBD cafe when the knife man was finally arrested.
Police said residents of the Hotel CBD unit block will not be able to return to their homes for several hours while forensic police work at the scene.
One tenant in the building said no-one was being allowed into the building and had been told to wait a ‘couple of hours’ before being let back in.
‘I just walked here from my office, and they’re not letting anyone in,’ she said.
‘Maybe I will just head back there. I’ll have to call my [real estate] agent in case they tell him something.’
She told Daily Mail Australia fire and rescue workers wielding an axe and a crowbar, and a few civilians, two brandishing chairs, had given chase before finally restraining him.
‘One of the guys who was chasing pushed him in the back, then as he was falling the firies got him in the legs, and then they pinned him down with the chairs,’ she said.
‘Then they just sat on him until the cops came.’
‘People couldn’t believe it, then everyone started standing on their chairs to see over the crowd.’
Another witness Megan Hales said there was a group of people running away from the knife man but it wasn’t clear if he was chasing after them, or running away from the group that was trying to stop him.
One witness who lived at the apartment block next door told The Sydney Morning Herald he heard a woman screaming inside Clarence House apartments and officers then struggled to enter the building.
‘The officer and the young man tried to gain the attention of those inside by pressing on multiple apartment buzzers.
Soon after a young woman came to the door, a mobile phone in one hand. Visibly distressed, the woman appealed to the officer: ‘you’ve got to help me.’
A heroic bystander has managed to stop a blood-soaked man who allegedly went on a stabbing rampage at Sydney’s Wynyard train station on Tuesday just after 2pm.
A man wearing a grey hoodie covered in blood and wielding a large knife could be seen yelling in the street as hundreds of people fled for their lives.
Luke O’Shaughnessy who watched as the incident unfolded, managed to subdue the crazed attacker by putting a milk crate over his head.
‘It was terrifying mate, it was really bad,’ his brother Paul told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I was just acting on instinct really. We all just kind of followed suit and just did what we could’.
‘Obviously there’s something clearly wrong with him, he didn’t look normal or anything like that’.
‘It was an intense moment. I’ve got a lot of emotion running high as well. It was pretty scary stuff’.
Paul O’Shaughnessy, who owns a recruitment company on nearby King Street, said they heard ‘a big kerfuffle and shouting’.
‘Luke, my brother, popped his head out and said ‘what’s going on? There’s a guy holding a knife’,’ he said.
‘At that point there were people chasing him down the street trying to stop him,’ Ms Hales, who was at work on Wynyard Street, said.
Ms Hales described the man as being in his late 20s or early 30s, Caucasian and with dark curly hair.
‘He wasn’t looking in great shape — it was fast.
‘A whole lot of guys just came down on top of him and laid him down’.
A barista named Marco, who was working at Batch Café, on York Street, watched in horror as the chaos unfolded.
‘He was trying to smash a driver-side window of a random car with the knife. He was unsuccessful.
‘People were chasing him by that stage. There was fireys chasing him with axes and he went around the corner.’
Adrian Papaianni was walking along Clarence Street when when he suddenly heard terrified screams.
‘There were a stack of people running down Barrack Place saying that there was a guy with a knife,’ he told news.com.au.
‘I ran into the Woolworths and people inside got them to shut the glass doors. I was feeling OK until I saw a mother crying with her baby in her hands, trying to get into the Woolies.
‘Police started arriving about a minute later and started to chase him.’
An Uber driver said the knifeman jumped on the bonnet of his car with a knife in his hand and blood on his shirt.
He told 2GB: ‘I was next to a fire truck in York Street and he jumped on the bonnet of my car. He crashed across the bonnet and had a knife in his hand.
‘There was blood on his shirt. People had their phones out and there was a police’.
A woman at the scene told Daily Mail Australia: ‘A crazy man is running around Wynyard with a knife stabbing people.
‘My work colleague’s boyfriend was standing right next to the guy who was stabbed. Has the world gone mad?’
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described the incident as ‘deeply disturbing’ while commending the bravery over the bystanders who stepped in to help.
‘The violent attack that took place in Sydney this afternoon is deeply concerning. The attacker is now in police custody following the brave actions of those who were present at the scene and were able to able to restrain him,’ he shared on Twitter.
‘The motivation for this attack has not yet been determined as Police are continuing with their enquiries. Any further offical information will be provided by the New South Wales Police, who are keeping us appraised through our agencies, including details of casualties.’
Onlookers filmed a man being dragged away by police about half an hour after the incident began to unfold.
A number of crime scenes were established and a number of road closures are in place, which is believed to have significant impact on traffic and public transport this afternoon, police said in a statement.
The Transport Management Centre urged motorists to avoid King Street.
‘All lanes of King Street are closed from Clarence Street to York Street. Traffic in the area is heavy, and motorists are advised to use an alternative route,’ they said.
‘Buses are also diverting away from King Street and are using Clarence Street, Market Street, Kent Street and Erskine Street then returning to Clarence Street.
‘Emergency services are on site, and traffic crews are responding.’