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Knife-Wielding Man Goes on a Rampage in Sydney’s CBD

The man was arrested by police after stabbing a woman in the back. Shortly thereafter, police discovered another woman's body inside an apartment building.

by Gavin Butler
13 August 2019, 6:00am

Image via Twitter user Kartik Lad, @kartiklad

This is a developing story.

UPDATE 4:45PM: A woman's body was found at a unit on Clarence Street at about 3:15PM, more than an hour after police received the first reports of a knife-wielding man outside on the street. Guardian Australia has confirmed that the woman’s death is linked to the previously reported stabbing incident. Police have cordoned off the apartment building, and are due to address the media again shortly.

A man went on a rampage in Sydney’s CBD this afternoon, running through the streets with a knife and stabbing a woman in the back before being detained by members of the public and arrested by police.

Emergency services were called to the corner of Clarence and King streets shortly after 2pm in response to reports of a man armed with a large blade. New South Wales Police confirmed that the woman was stabbed in the back inside a nearby hotel, and has since been taken to hospital in stable condition, The Guardian reports.

“A short time later, members of the public detained the man before police attended and arrested him,” NSW Police said in a statement. “Officers from Sydney City Police Area Command, and various specialist police, are conducting proactive patrols of the area, but it is believed there is no further threat to public safety. A number of crime scenes have been established and a number of road closures are in place, which is believed to have significant impact on traffic and public transport this afternoon.

“Members of the public are urged to avoid the area.”

An Uber driver named Leon told 2GB radio that a shirtless man, covered in blood and brandishing a knife, had jumped across the bonnet of his car on Clarence Street. The man appeared to be aged 23 to 24, according to Leon, and looked like he was “definitely on something.”

“He didn’t sound normal, [and] obviously he wasn’t acting normal,” Leon said.

Footage from the incident shows the man jumping onto the bonnet of a car, then leaping back down as it drives out from under him. “Shoot me,” he screams, “fucking shoot me in the fucking head, shoot me, I want to fucking die.”

Speaking in a press conference after the incident, NSW Police Superintendent Gavin Wood said that apart from the one female victim “there are no other injuries at this stage I can confirm.”

“The offender has attempted to stab multiple people. Those attempts thankfully were unsuccessful,” he said. “Again I will put on record we have a female person with a stab wound to the back currently being treated by paramedics and is en route to a Sydney hospital.”

Superintendent Wood added it had been reported to him that the man had yelled Allahu Akbar, but this was not captured as part of the “evidentiary base”. Commenters online have also observed that the man’s pronunciation suggested he wasn’t very familiar with the phrase.

Multiple bystanders helped to apprehend the man, pinning him to the ground with milk crates. Wood commended these people for their bravery, saying that “to approach a person with a mind set of obviously what this person [had], with clear evidence of a stabbing previously, these people are heroes.

“These members of the public, going about their day-to-day business, have jumped into a situation which was extremely dangerous and hostile and they have brought a person, who we will be alleging has stabbed an innocent person for no specific reason, into custody and allowed us to do our job.”

Shortly after the incident, the body of a woman was found at a unit on Clarence Street. Police do not know if the death is connected to the stabbing, but have stated the following:

"Inquiries are underway after the body of a woman was found in side a unit on Clarence street Sydney about 3.15pm today. Officers from Sydney City police area command are on the scene and will conduct inquiries into whether the incident is linked to an earlier stabbing at a hotel on the corner of Clarence and King St."

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