Australian officials said, the diver of an S.U.V who drove into a crowd on a busy day in Melbourne on Thursday, describing the attack as a deliberate “act of evil” but not terrorism.
“This is a terrible, evil, cowardly act and one that will be condemned by all Victorians,” Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria State, stated at a news conference, few hours
after the perpetrator drove a white Suzuki S.U.V through a busy intersection in the center of Melbourne.
the attack paralyzed the city’s center at the end of the workday, the Australian Police stated that it couldn’t point to no motive for the attack, 19 people were injured, among them was a preschool-age child and an off-duty police officer who arrested the driver.
the authorities said that four of the 19 injured victims admitted to hospitals were in critical state.
Victoria’s acting police commissioner, described the driver as a 32-year-ol Australian citizen of afghan descent. He had a history of criminal assault and drug abuse.
The man was being treated for a mental illness, Mr. Patton stated.
“At this time we do not have any evidence or any intelligence to indicate there is a connection with terrorism,” Mr. Patton said. But he added that “we continue to support this investigation with our Counterterrorism Command to ensure that there isn’t a connection and that there is no ongoing threat.”
The attacker resisted arrest, and was the only person in the vehicle.
After detaining him the police took him to the hospital, but had yet to interview him.
Commander of the Victoria Police stated: access to the site of the attack would be restricted for a “considerable period of time,” he also urged with other officials people to avoid the area.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull offered his “thoughts and prayers” to the victims and others affected.