The hero bystander who attempted to take down a knife-wielding terrorist using a shopping trolley during Friday’s horrific attack on Bourke Street says he doesn’t see himself as a hero.
Footage shows the man charging at 30-year-old Somali immigrant Hassan Khalif Shire Ali with the trolley as Ali slashed wildly at two brave police officers.
He pushes the trolley with such force that he falls over, just moments before the officers opened fire on the knife-wielding terrorist.
The man was found at the scene of the attack on Saturday afternoon, where he told 7News he didn’t see his actions as heroic, but believes they may have helped to save lives.
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The hero bystander who attempted to take down a knife-wielding terrorist using a shopping trolley during Friday’s horrific attack on Bourke Street says he doesn’t see himself as a hero (pictured)
‘I’ve seen the trolley at the side and so I picked it up and ran,’ he said, while imitating the action.
‘I threw the trolley straight at him, and I got him. I didn’t quite get him down, though.’
‘I did that motion quite a number of times but it just wasn’t getting him down.’
He also said he hoped he was able to defend his city.
While the man, who has been affectionately nick-named the ‘trolley man’ chose not to reveal his name, a police officer in the area allegedly approached him to shake his hand and thank him for his contribution to the operation.
A bystander has been hailed as a hero after he attempted to take down a knife-wielding man using a shopping trolley during Friday’s horrific attack on Bourke Street
Video showed a man wielding a knife attempt to stab and slash at two police officers before he was shot with a taser and fell to the ground, and also a brave shopper try to hit him with a trolley
Trolley man was discovered on Bourke Street wearing the same black shirt and khaki pants he wore when he rushed to the aid of officers as they attempted to diffuse the situation.
Earlier reports suggested the man may have been homeless and living on the streets in Melbourne’s CBD, however he neither confirmed or denied these allegations.
His heroic actions were praised on social media.
‘Total respect to the shopping trolley hero trying to take down a mad knife man with nothing but a metal basket on not very good wheels,’ one person tweeted.
‘Incredible work by police in Melbourne but also bystanders – one using a trolley to try subdue the man,’ another said.
‘Cops trying to take down man armed with knife. Passerby seems to be trying to take him out with a shopping trolley!’ one person said.
Ali, who stabbed three people, killing one, was rushed to hospital after an officer with only three months of on-the-field training shot him in the chest. He later died from his wounds.
The 30-year-old and his family were known to counter-terror agencies at a state and national level and were believed to have ties with north African extremist groups.
Khalif’s passport was cancelled several years ago after he was flagged as one of 300 potential security risks.
His possible links to known terror plotters and extremist elements of the North African community in Australia are being investigated.
Khalif moved to Australia from Somalia in the 1990’s, Victoria Police commissioner Graham Ashton said, and had a record of ‘minor’ offences in relation to ‘cannabis use, theft and driving offences’.
‘He is known to police and is known mainly in respect to relatives he has that are certainly persons of interest.’
‘He is someone that is known to both Victoria police and at a federal level,’ Mr Ashton said.
Mr Ashton was asked about reports from eyewitnesses that Khalif screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he chased pedestrians, to which he could not confirm.
‘There is no ongoing threat, but this is an ongoing investigation. It will be handled by the counter terrorism command and Victoria Police.’
ISIS later claimed the attack as their own via their propaganda platform, saying ‘the perpetrator of the operation in Melbourne was an Islamic State fighter and carried out the operation to target nationals of the coalition fighting IS’, Amaq reported, allegedly quoting a jihadist security source.
ISIS have previously claimed responsibility for attacks that were later discovered to be unrelated to the organisation.
Sisto Malaspina, 74, was murdered after he ran to help what he thought was a car crash victim just blocks from his iconic Pellegrini’s coffee shop. His body was covered in a white sheet.
By trying to do a good deed, Mr Malaspina, who became a grandfather last Saturday, became the murderous knifeman’s first victim. Soon two others would also be stabbed before Ali attacked police.
Witnesses said the Holden Rodeo loaded with gas cylinders hit a pedestrian as it mounted the kerb and burst into flames outside Target near the Swanson Street intersection about 4.20pm on Friday.
In the aftermath to be a body was lying on the road covered in a white sheet
A car has crashed on Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall and burst into flames
Video shot from the scene showed the frenzied attack that carried on for more than a minute as Ali chased the officers around as they tried to convince him to surrender, before finally shooting him.
The attacker chased the officers around trees as they tried to avoid his blows and defuse the situation, as the brave bystander tried to run him down with a shopping trolley.
The officers then retreated to the other side of the road as the attacker, dressed in a long jacket and grey pants, ominously pursued them as horrified bystanders called on police to shoot him.
Ali again attempted to stab and slash at the officers officers several times before he was shot in the neck and fell to the ground. He was quickly arrested on the pavement by two officers.
Victoria Police said officers responded to reports of a car fire before they were confronted by the man.
The man was quickly arrested on the pavement by two officers in front of shocked pedestrians who stood back to film it
‘A man was arrested at the scene and has been taken to hospital under police guard in a critical condition,’ they said.
‘Police are not looking for anyone further at this early stage. A small number of people are being treated for stab wounds.’
‘The exact circumstances are yet to be determined at this stage. The area has been cordoned off and the public are urged to avoid the area.’
Ambulance Victoria said a man was taken to hospital in a critical condition with a neck injury and two others with unknown injuries.
Photos form the scene showed the Holden Colorado burning on the pavement
Witnesses described a chaotic scene with an injured pedestrian lying on the ground, and numerous police cars and helicopters flying overhead.
‘Police response was swift and overwhelming. I heard at least one gunshot initially,’ one said.
Another said they heard ‘what sounded like a bomb and gun shot’.
‘Roads are blocked and police advising to stay away from Bourke Street. Feels like de ja vu,’ they said, referring to the car attack on Bourke Street Mall last year that killed six people.
Panicked pedestrians ran in all directions away from the scene, some hiding in nearby cafes and shops, locking themselves in back rooms.
While the man, who has been affectionately nick-named the ‘trolley man’ chose not to reveal his name, a police officer in the area allegedly approached him to shake his hand and thank him for his contribution to the operation
Witnesses said the car hit a pedestrian as it mounted the kerb outside Target near the Swanson Street intersection about 4.20pm on Friday
Police are asking people to avoid the area and said more information would be given when it was available
Another said they heard ‘what sounded like a bomb and gun shot’
Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, 30, lived with his wife and young child in a bungalow at the back of a home in Meadow Heights for about a year before the ISIS-inspired attack on Friday.
Counter-terrorism officers raided the house about 3am on Saturday morning with officers waking up neighbours by yelling ‘come out, come out’.
Police soon realised the young family who lived in the main home were oblivious to what was going on in the bungalow neighbours said was often rented out.
A neighbour said he believed Ali worked as some sort of tradesman and would often see him leaving in his ute – likely the same Holden Rodeo that was used in the attack.
The young family would go for walks around the neighbourhood at night, and another woman in full Islamic dress was also seen spending time at the property.
Another neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said the killer mostly kept to himself, but spoke up when he objected to some loud music.
‘He didn’t like Tupac,’ she said. ‘He didn’t like the language.’
But she said Ali also displayed some neighbourly qualities: ‘He stopped by one time and asked if we needed anything from the shop,’ she said.
Federal agents removed bag loads of evidence from the man’s property about 5.30pm.
AFP Detective Sergeant Keith Randall said police seized a variety of items, but declined to say exactly what.
‘It’s a breadth of exhibits that we’ve seized that are relevant to the investigation,’ he said.
Ali was living in the bungalow after breaking with Somali tradition and moving out of the family home in Werribee amid a strained relationship with his parents.
He was abusing drugs and struggled with mental health issues that caused his life to ‘spiral out of control’ in recent years and his family worried about him.
‘[He was] complaining he was being chased by unseen people with spears,’ family friend Imam Isse Musse told The Age.
It comes as a trial continues into the horrifying rampage in Bourke St in January last year.
James Gargasoulas is accused of deliberately crashing into pedestrians, killing six and injuring 27 others.
The fire was brought under control within about five minutes, a Metropolitan Fire Brigade spokeswoman said