Killer’s ‘mental health flag’ before fatal rampage
Two innocent people are among the three killed in a night of random attacks that unfolded in one of Melbourne's most exclusive streets and left another female victim fighting for life.
Mohamed Ibrahim, 34 from Roxburgh Park knifed a man to death as he was walking in Kew, while two women arriving at their Hawthorn home on one of Melbourne's most exclusive streets were stabbed, one fatally, before the attacker was shot dead by police.
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Witnesses described hearing "aggressive" shouting before three gunshots rang out on the suburban street.
Ibrahim was killed after he tried to attack Critical Incident Response Team officers with one of his knives.
Police have confirmed the incidents were random, and none of the victims were known to Ibrahim.
The attack unfolded "without warning, without any indication there was anything untoward", Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir said.
"We are dealing with a really significant event overnight that is very traumatic, this is a terrible event," AC Weir said.
"There is nothing to suggest that any of the people involved are known to each other."
The violence has prompted a homicide investigation but police have assured the public no offenders are on the run.
Counter-terrorism police are not treating the incident as a terror attack.
AC Weir said there was nothing to indicate that he had terror links.
Ibrahim had two large kitchen knives on him and a smaller switch blade pocket knife.
Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said Ibrahim had a mental health flag against his name in the police system, but didn't have a criminal record.
"He doesn't have any criminal history, no warrants out for his arrest, he is not on bail, no parole history accordingly," he said.
"We have got an active intervention order … taken out by his estranged partner and her child (which has been) active for a few years and remained active as of last night.
"A welfare check revealed they are safe, which we are obviously grateful for. There is no indication at this stage he attempted to contact the partner or child last night."
Police also revealed that Ibrahim attended a police station twice in 2018 and claimed he feared ISIS operatives in Mildura were "out to get him".
Police raided Ibrahim's Roxburgh Park properties in a bid to search for clues about his motivation on his phone and computer.
HOW IT UNFOLDED
The offender, Mohamed Ibrahim, approached two Protective Services Officers (PSOs) for directions on which train to catch at Jolimont station before the spree of violence unfolded about 10.40pm.
Ibrahim suddenly produced a kitchen knife and lashed out at one of the officers.
"Without further conversation, he has been attacked with a knife and stabbed," AC Weir said.
The PSO was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening slash wounds on his cheek and arm.
The officer is now undergoing cosmetic surgery at Richmond's Epworth Hospital, with Mr Ashton saying he was in "surprisingly good spirits" despite the ordeal.
After the Jolimont attack, Ibrahim ran through Yarra Park, boarding a train at Richmond station and getting off at Glenferrie station in Hawthorn.
It's believed Ibrahim then attacked two women arriving home by car about 11.20pm on Coppin Grove, one of the most exclusive streets in the leafy suburb.
A 30-year-old woman tragically died and the second, aged 31, was taken to hospital in a critical condition, but has since stablised.
"We think the two ladies (at Hawthorn) had just arrived home and were alighting their vehicle when they were approached," AC Weir said.
After the Hawthorn stabbings, police and the CIRT responded to reports of a man with stab wounds in nearby Kew.
The 59-year-old man was found with critical injuries near a tram stop outside the QPO building, close to Cotham Rd and Queen St about 12.15am.
The critically injured man called triple-0 and gave a description of his attacker before losing consciousness and was commended by Mr Ashton for his bravery.
The man was taken to hospital, where he too succumbed to his injuries.
The Ibrahim was then found at nearby Walton St, where he was shot dead by police in their attempt to arrest him.
Cotham Rd reopened later this morning after it was earlier closed in both directions.
Walton St, Kew, and Coppin Grove, Hawthorn, are also closed to traffic as detectives comb the crime scene.
Trains are also not stopping at Jolimont station.
EXCLUSIVE STREET ROCKED BY DOUBLE STABBING
Police have taped off two portions of the exclusive Coppin Grove, Hawthorn, scene where two women fell victim to the horrific random attack.
A black Mazda CX-3, believed to be the vehicle the women had arrived home in before they were stabbed, remains behind orange tarps.
The woman's body remained on the scene, until it was removed at 9.15am.
A short time later, two residents returned home on the street, with one visibly distressed and wrapped in an Ambulance Victoria blanket.
They sat staring at the scene for 45 minutes before sitting in a police car until the victims' car was removed about 11am for further police examination.
Homicide detectives remain on scene examining parts of the road where the two women were stabbed.
Helen Hounslow, who lives about 40m from where the women were stabbed, said she heard a horn about 11pm last night before flashlights shone through her windows.
"You look out the window and all of a sudden you see these police officers with a german shepherd going down and jumping the fence and stalking the house," she said.
"At the time, I thought something must be going on because there were ambulances and they drove off and there were no sirens so we just assumed someone had been injured or killed."
Ms Hounslow, who has lived in the street for nine years, said she was shocked because the attack occurred in such a quiet area.
She said she knew of the women involved in the stabbing.
"They've lived there for a while," she said. "They're very quiet, we've never had any problems of drinking or that noisy stuff. They were probably early 30s in age."
Ms Hounslow was inside watching the drama unfold and said it felt like a Hollywood movie.
"I felt very scared, not knowing exactly what's going on, or who's in your backyard or in your front yard or even in your house," she said.
"It's very hard to comprehend, it's now going to make me put a front fence up, that's for sure."
Ms Hounslow said she would not be walking her dog at night again and said she had spoken to her neighbour next door.
"She has three young children, so for them it's terrifying," she said. "The police knocked on their door and told them not to go out.
"Unfortunately four people were hurt, but I think what police did (shooting him) was good."
HOW THE ATTACKER WAS SHOT DEAD
Police said they tried multiple tactics before they shot Mohamed Ibrahim dead at Walpole St.
"We deployed a number of less-than-lethal options," AC Weir said. "He was called upon to surrender and he didn't. The ball was in his court."
Tasers were used as police attempted to arrest the attacker.
A number of officers involved also turned their body-worn cameras on to record the incident.
Police would not say how many shots fired or at what distance they were fired from.
Walpole St resident Georgia Sassi, 21, woke to "aggressive" shouting outside her home.
"There was a verbal conflict, I heard two to three voices," she said. "It sounded quite intense.
"A police officer was saying 'put your hands up' … it got heated very quickly.
"Then there were three loud gunshots. There was a lot of loud yelling with all the voices."
Walpole St resident Jan said she was "half asleep" when she woke to "three shots" fired by police.
Another neighbour said she witnessed police performing CPR on Ibrahim after he had been shot.
"It is another one of those moments we often attach a tag to, things that happen become known by the street name, this incident will be similarly tagged by that," AC Weir said.
"We ask people to go about their business normally. We know the community are hurting, we are all hurting.
"There is nothing to connect him with any of the victims, so it is really hard to understand.
"There has been significant carnage caused which is really tragic."
He added: "We'll never know what we prevented by taking the action we did … but the actions of this person leads you to believe it was only going to be significant intervention that would stop him."
Police are awaiting toxicology results to discover if Ibrahim was on drugs.
The nearby Walpole St shopping strip is today closed off, with forensics combing the scene.
The offender's body has been removed by the coroner.
The investigation is ongoing and will be overseen by Professional Standards Command, as per protocol when any police firearm is discharged.
Anyone who witnessed any of the incidents or with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at crimestoppersvic.com.au