Police shot dead a man who stabbed and slashed several people at an Australian shopping centre complex, an official has said.
Witnesses said a knife-wielding man attacked people “at random” in the car park outside the mall near the coastal town of South Hedland, north of Perth, on Friday morning.
“A person has engaged in multiple stabbings or slashings of people,” Western Australia state premier Mark McGowan told reporters.
“He has been Tasered by police. That didn’t stop him and he lunged at police officers and then he was shot by police officers. He died at the scene and a number of people have been injured in this tragic and awful set of events.”
Five people were taken to hospital for knife injury wounds, according to ABC News, quoting a spokesperson for Western Australia Country Health Service.
St. John Ambulance said in a statement multiple people were treated at the scene but did not detail their conditions.
The motive for the attack is not yet known, and police are studying CCTV footage to investigate the circumstances surrounding the attack.
“Just one random guy went on a rampage, stabbing people at random,” victim Esther Brooks, who received three stitches at hospital, told ABC News.
“He just came running down, the police were chasing him and he stabbed me as he went past. It just happened quickly, I didn’t know what was happening … I’m a bit shaken up, traumatised, scared. You don’t see that stuff here.”
One witness said the man had been carrying “a decent sized carving knife”.
West Australia Police Force asked members of the public who might have dash camera, mobile phone or CCTV footage relating to this incident to upload it to the police website.
“As per normal protocols, major crime division and professional standards division will investigate the circumstances surrounding the police shooting,” said a force spokesperson.
Mr McGowan said: “I know all of our thoughts go to those people who have been hurt and all of our thoughts and appreciation go to those police officers who’ve had to deal with a very, very difficult situation.”
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