A 32-year-old man drove his white Suzuki into a crowd of shoppers in Melbourne, Australia on Thursday at approximately 4:40 p.m. local time. At least 18 people were injured, and several—including one pre-school age child—are in serious condition.
The crash is believed to have been deliberate, but there is no evidence of a link to terrorism, according to chief commissioner of Victoria Police Shane Patton, who spoke with reporters on the scene.
Police say arrested Melbourne car driver is a 32-year-old Australian citizen of Afghan descent with a history of drug use and mental health issues, and there is currently no evidence to indicate a connection with terrorism https://t.co/3gFOI4ryhA pic.twitter.com/MqqnC2UPjw
— CNN (@CNN) December 21, 2017
The driver is an Australian citizen of Afghan descent. He had a history of drug use and mental health issues, and he had a previous record with the police, though it was for minor incidents, according to CNN.
The driver was taken into custody by an off-duty officer after resisting arrest. Both men—the driver and officer—sustained injuries in the scuffle.
The crash occurred outside of Flinders Street station, a popular train station and one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. The area was flooded with shoppers. Witnesses say people were flung into the air after being hit by the car, which was traveling at approximately 60 miles per hour.
A second man, who is 24 years old, was also arrested on the scene. He was filming the incident on his phone, and police found three knives in his bag. He is reportedly not suspected to be connected to the incident.