December 2017 Melbourne car attack

On 21 December 2017, at 4:41 pm AEDT, a driver rammed pedestrians with his car at the corner of Flinders Street and Elizabeth Street in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, killing one person and injuring seventeen others, including himself. The sole fatality, an elderly man, died eight days after the attack.

December 2017 Melbourne car attack
Corner of Flinders Street and Elizabeth Street, where the incident took place, as seen in February 2006
LocationMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
Coordinates37°49′06″S 144°57′54″E / 37.8182°S 144.9650°E / -37.8182; 144.9650
Date21 December 2017 (2017-12-21)
4:41 pm (AEDT)
Attack type
Vehicular attack[1][2]
WeaponsSuzuki Vitara
Injured18 (including the perpetrator)
PerpetratorSaeed Noori[3]

Incident edit

According to witnesses and police, the driver, Saeed Noori, deliberately ran a red light then accelerated into an area with a speed limit of 40 kilometres per hour (25 mph), where he ran into the pedestrians.[4][5][6] His car then hit a bollard beside a tram stop.[4][5] The nineteen injured included nine foreign nationals: three from South Korea, and one each from China, Italy, India, Venezuela, Ireland, and New Zealand.[7][8] An off-duty officer of the Victorian Police was credited with quickly subduing the suspect,[9] who was wrestled to the ground, handcuffed, and arrested.[10]

A second man, filming the incident, was also arrested and found to be carrying a bag containing three knives and a quantity of marijuana. It was subsequently determined that he was not directly involved in the incident.[11]

On 21 December, Victoria Police Commander Russell Barrett stated: "At this stage we believe it is a deliberate act."[12] As a result of the incident, nineteen people were taken to a hospital. By 23 December 2017, three were in critical condition.[13]

One victim, Antonios Crocaris, aged 83, died in hospital on 29 December 2017.[14][15]

Perpetrator edit

Noori, aged 32, was known to police for a 2010 assault and had a history of drug use and mental health issues.[16] In June 2017, he was convicted and fined $1000 for driving without a license, using a mobile phone while driving and failing to answer bail.[17] Noori was unlicensed at the time of the December incident, and he was driving a vehicle that belonged to a relative.[18]

Noori appeared in court on 23 December, charged with 18 counts of attempted murder and one count of reckless conduct endangering life; one of the attempted murder charges was upgraded to murder following Crocaris' death on 29 December. He was remanded in custody and ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment.[19] After his arrest, he exhibited drug addiction withdrawal symptoms and was suspected to have other illnesses, including a psychiatric one. He was on medication for mental health issues.[20]

Noori is an Australian citizen of Afghan descent who entered Australia in 2004 with six other siblings as a refugee.[21] Noori had a two-year-old son and at the time of the attack, and his wife was pregnant with their second child.[22] In an informal police interview, he "spoke of dreams and voices, but also attributed some of his activities as well due to the mistreatment of Muslims".[23] Noori also made comments regarding Allah and ASIO following his arrest.[24] One of Noori's co-workers at the call centre where they worked said: "There was always talk of his religious beliefs, he was very strong in that. People would say 'I believe in God' and he'd say 'you need to believe in Allah'."[25] On 22 December, the Victorian Police stated that while they had not yet determined Noori's motivations, "we haven't found anything at all to indicate his linkage or involvement with any type of extremism with any terrorism organisation or anything of a terrorist nature".[26]

On 7 December 2018, Noori pleaded guilty to one count of murder, and 18 counts of attempted murder.[27] Noori was sentenced in March 2019, to serve life imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 30 years.[28]

Reactions edit

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that Melbourne has "special challenges", including wide streets, wide footpaths and tramways, which enable a driver to make such an attack. It would be impossible to install bollards in every part of the city.[29]

Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews praised the off-duty police officer who responded first, saying he "instinctively came to the aid of others, in the protection of public order, and potentially, avoiding so much other carnage".[30]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Melbourne officials investigating motive in latest vehicle attack". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
  2. ^ "Kiwi injured in Melbourne vehicle attack released from hospital". The New Zealand Herald. 22 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Live Melbourne CBD attack day two: 19 injured after SUV mows down pedestrians". The Age Victoria. 21 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b Davey, Melissa; Doherty, Ben; MacFarlane, Stuart (21 December 2017). "Flinders Street: two arrested after car crashes into pedestrians in Melbourne". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Flinders Street driver had history of drug use, mental illness". ABC News. 21 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Several critically hurt as SUV rams pedestrians in Australia". CBS News. 21 December 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  7. ^ Wahlquist, Calla (22 December 2017). "Three people in critical condition after Flinders Street crash". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  8. ^ "Nine foreigners among Melbourne car attack injured". Agence France-Presse. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Hero off-duty cop was first to respond to Flinders Street incident". SBS News. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Melbourne crash: Driver arrested after hitting pedestrians". BBC News. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  11. ^ Cowie, Tom (22 December 2017). "Melbourne CBD attack: Who was the man in the red shirt?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  12. ^ ABC News [@abcnews] (21 December 2017). "At this stage we believe it is a deliberate act" (Tweet). Retrieved 22 December 2017 – via Twitter.
  13. ^ "Accused Flinders St driver charged with 18 counts of attempted murder". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 23 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Northcote man Antonios Crocaris, 83, dies in hospital from injuries suffered in Flinders Street". The Age. 30 December 2017.
  15. ^ "Greek community mourns the first fatality of the Flinders Street attack". Neos Kosmos. 3 January 2018. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  16. ^ "Melbourne incident driver tells police of 'mistreatment of Muslims' as investigation continues".
  17. ^ Esveld, Olivia. "Flinders Street Driver Had Previously Been Convicted Of Driving Offences". Archived from the original on 9 November 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  18. ^ Bucci, Nino; Mills, Tammy; Cowie, Tom (22 December 2017). "Melbourne CBD attack: Flinders Street driver Saeed Noori convicted of unlicensed driving". The Age.
  19. ^ Mills, Tammy; Bucci, Nino (23 December 2017). "Accused Flinders Street driver Saeed Noori remanded after appearing in court". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  20. ^ "Flinders Street crash: Saeed Noori may be unfit for trial, lawyers say". The Guardian. Australian Associated Press. 27 December 2017.
  21. ^ Westcott, Ben; Morris-Marr, Lucie (December 2017). "Melbourne car attack: Driver had mental health issues, no terror connection". CNN.
  22. ^ "Flinders St accused Saeed Noori 'withdrawing from drug addiction'". The West Australian. 26 December 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  23. ^ "Melbourne car attack: Flinders St driver spoke of Muslims' 'mistreatment' but had no terror links, police say". ABC. 22 December 2017.
  24. ^ "Flinders St rampage: Accused rampage driver's Allah, ASIO rants". Herald Sun. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  25. ^ "Emotional mother of Flinders Street accused lashes out". MSN. Archived from the original on 23 December 2017. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  26. ^ "Flinders Street driver was on mental health plan, had no known terror links: Melbourne police". ABC News. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  27. ^ Saeed Noori pleads guilty to murder of one, injuring dozens, in Flinders Street car attack (
  28. ^ Percy, Karen (28 March 2019). "Flinders St driver Saeed Noori jailed for life over Melbourne car attack". ABC News. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  29. ^ Staff Reporters (22 December 2017). "Melbourne CBD attack: City has 'special challenges' when it comes to stopping such incidents, says Prime Minister". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  30. ^ "Hero off-duty cop who tackled Flinders St driver receiving treatment in hospital". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 22 December 2017.