3 Dead, 20 Hurt After Car Mows Down Pedestrians

Cops say Melbourne incident isn't terror-related
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 20, 2017 1:00 AM CST
Updated Jan 20, 2017 2:46 AM CST
3 Dead, 20 Hurt After Car Mows Down Pedestrians
Police listen to witnesses at the scene of an incident in the central business district in Melbourne, Australia, on Friday.   (Andrew Brownbill)

A man deliberately drove into a street crowded with pedestrians in Australia's second-largest city on Friday, killing at least three people and injuring 20 others, police say. Officials said the incident had no links to terrorism. The chaos began in the early afternoon, after a man was seen driving in erratic circles in the middle of a major intersection in downtown Melbourne, the AP reports. The driver then turned onto the Bourke Street Mall, a pedestrian-only road, deliberately colliding with pedestrians before continuing onto a sidewalk and hitting several other people, Victoria state Police Acting Commander Stuart Bateson said. The man was arrested at the scene and there was no further threat to the public, Bateson added.

Police say the suspect has a criminal history linked to family violence and has come to police attention on numerous occasions in the past related to drug issues and mental health problems. They believe the incident is connected to a stabbing that occurred in the city earlier in the day. "At this present stage, we ask the public to avoid the city," Bateson told reporters. "It is going to take us a really long time to process this scene. Our priority at the moment is with the injured, and it must be that we give them our attention." The Herald Sun reports that a child is among the three people killed. Doctors are fighting to save the life of a 3-month-old baby injured in the incident. (More Melbourne stories.)

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