A 26-year-old Melbourne man has been taken into custody after chaos erupted in a busy shopping district on January 20, 2017. According to Victoria Police, the man, Dimitrious “Jimmy” Gargasoulas, was already being pursued by police for the stabbing of his brother.
Neighbors reported hearing yelling from a Southeast Melbourne home where Gargasoulas had stabbed his brother. When police arrived on the scene, both the perpetrator, as well as a woman, had been missing from the home. Gargasoulas’ brother was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
As news began to trickle into local newsrooms, a Today Show correspondent reporting from the scene did not notice a man behind her yelling and waving a red baseball cap. The man caught on camera was allegedly Gargasoulas. Inside the car was a woman he had taken hostage. She was later allowed to go free once they had reached the Bolte Bridge.
Gargasoulas continued on his joyride through the city, doing donuts through a busy intersection. He then turned left and embarked upon the Bourke Street Mall, jumping the curb and deliberately plowed into pedestrians. Four people were killed, including a 10-year-old child, while 15 others were injured during the incident.
Witnesses saw bodies flying through the air, including that of a 3-month-old infant. The child’s stroller flew up onto the car and the baby was dragged several hundred feet down the strip. The baby was later taken to the hospital where they were listed as in critical condition.
Officers were forced to open fire on the suspect, hitting him in the arm. The man was then dragged out of the vehicle and apprehended. Police are saying that the incident is not related to terrorism and that the man behind the attack had a history of drug and mental health issues.
Just a week prior to the events that unfolded at the Bourke Street Mall the same suspect had been taken into police custody for assault charges. He had been allowed out on bail. Additionally, police also stated during a press conference that the suspect had a history of family violence.