A good Samaritan who apparently went to the aid of a woman struggling with an armed man in central Melbourne was shot dead yesterday and two were wounded, police and witnesses said.
Police said they were still hunting the killer who opened fire during the morning rush-hour in the business district of Australia's second-largest city.
The shooting erupted after two men reportedly intervened as the gunman struggled to pull the woman out of a taxi.
"She was screaming and a guy had her by the hair," witness Ross Murchie told national radio.
"She tried to grab hold of a taxi that was going by and the couple of bystanders went over to ask what was happening ... He let go of her hair, pulled out a gun and shot them all," Murchie said.
One man died at the scene while a man in his 30s and a 24-year-old woman were rushed to Royal Melbourne Hospital, where they were in serious condition.
Police Inspector Glenn Weir said it appeared the shooting stemmed from a domestic incident between the man and the woman.
"It does appear that there was a relationship between the female and the male suspect and certainly we're not looking that it's a random act, certainly not gang-related -- it appears as though it's a domestic-related incident," Weir said.
Police were investigating whether the two male victims were good Samaritans who had come to the woman's aid as she struggled with the gunman in the street, he said.
"That's certainly one of the avenues of inquiry that we're undertaking and that looks more likely as time goes on," he said.
Homicide Detective Inspector Stephen Clark said some witnesses said they had seen an altercation between a man and a woman in a nearby nightclub area 10 minutes before the shooting.
"It appears there has been an initial assault that had taken place in King Street in the nightclub area," he said.
Witness Zali Nash told ABC radio the gunman was "as cool as a cucumber" as he shot the victims.
"He just went bang, bang, bang, there was no mucking around," she said. "There were five shots fired and the people went straight down to the ground. There wasn't even a scream, just a whimper."
Police locked down the area, evacuating some office buildings, to track the killer and later found a handgun and a dark jacket at a construction site which they were confident belonged to the gunman.
In recent years Melbourne has experienced a bloody tit-for-tat gangland war, which began in the late 1990s and eventually claimed 29 lives, including several in public.
But one of the worst public shootings in the city was the Hoddle Street massacre in August 1987, when seven people died and more than a dozen were injured when a former army cadet began taking random shots.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete