Bourke Street’s trolley man is unmasked: Hero who bravely fought off Melbourne terrorist relives his battle with knife-wielding jihadi
- Man used a shopping trolley to try to stop an attacker who stabbed three people, killing one, in Melbourne
- Astonishing footage shows the hero shove the trolley at bearded man as he tries to stab two police officers
- Cops then opened fire, shooting the man in the chest and he later died after being taken to hospital
- Holden Rodeo crashed before bursting into flames on the pavement in front of shocked afternoon shoppers
- Do you know more about trolley man? Email Brittany.email@example.com
The hero bystander who attempted to take down a knife-wielding terrorist using a shopping trolley during Friday’s horrific attack on Melbourne’s 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 Ali.
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 a hero after he attempted to take down a knife-wielding man using a shopping trolley during Friday’s horrific attack on Melbourne’s 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, while a brave shopper tried 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 comment 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.
Ali was known to counter-terror agencies at a state and national level and was believed to have ties with north African extremist groups.
His passport was cancelled several years ago after he was flagged as one of 300 potential security risks and his possible links to known terror plotters and extremist elements of the North African community in Australia are being investigated.
Ali 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,’ Mr Ashton said.
‘He is someone that is known to both Victoria police and at a federal level.’
Mr Ashton was asked about reports from eyewitnesses that Ali screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he chased pedestrians, to which he could not confirm.
In the aftermath of the horrific attack, a body was seen lying on the road covered in a white sheet. The body was later confirmed to be Sisto Malaspina, 74
After confronting Ali, officers retreated to the other side of the road as the bearded attacker with a shaved head and dressed in a long brown tunic, pursued them as horrified bystanders called on police to shoot him
‘There is no ongoing threat, but this is an ongoing investigation. It will be handled by the counter terrorism command and Victoria Police,’ Mr Ashton said.
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. 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.
Sisto Malaspina (pictured) came to Australia from Italy and took over Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar in 1976 with his business partner Nino Pangrazio and maintained its original 1954 decor
A review of Pellegrini’s in a magazine bearing his picture was placed among the tributes at the cafe
Staff wrote a moving tribute to Mr Malaspina calling him ‘the best boss’ who made his employees ‘part of his life’
Heartbroken friends and longtime customers left floral tributes to the slain food icon outside Pellegrini’s, just down Bourke Street near the Exhibition Street intersection
So many people came to pay their respects that a line formed out the front of the shop as well-wishers wrote condolences
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.
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.
Victoria Police said officers responded to reports of a car fire before they were confronted by the man
Ali was quickly arrested on the pavement by two officers in front of shocked pedestrians who stood back to film it
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’.
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
Another witness said they heard ‘what sounded like a bomb and gun shot’
Ali 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.
Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, 30, is believed to have lived in a bungalow at the back of the home in Meadow Heights before he went on a knife rampage through Bourke Street on Friday
Counter-terrorism officers raided the house on Pinnaroo Circuit on Saturday morning, followed by forensics officers and detectives
A detective can be seen at the entrance to the bungalow out the back of the family’s house
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.
Heavily-armed officers wearing tactical gear and masks swooped on the home in Werribee about 8am on Saturday as they continue to investigate Hassan Khalif Shire Ali’s attack
His family are inside the house and cooperating with authorities. Ali’s wife, who police also believe to be radicalised, was missing on Friday night but has since been interviewed by police
A Muslim woman talks to police at the house of the terrorist’s father. His family are cooperating with police
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.
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 Street in January last year.
James Gargasoulas is accused of deliberately crashing into pedestrians, killing six and injuring 27 others.
THE EVENTS OF THE BOURKE STREET TERROR ATTACK
4:20pm Friday November 9: A blue ute mounted a footpath on Bourke Street in Melbourne’s CBD. The car burst into flames.
– Cafe owner Sisto Malaspina, 74, saw the explosion and ran to the aid of the driver. The driver, now known as Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, exited the vehicle and stabbed Mr Malaspina to death.
– Ali then continued his rampage, attacking bystanders at random, including 58-year-old Rodney Patterson and a 24-year-old security guard. Footage shows the security guard was stabbed in the neck.
– The car fire was quickly put out by fire fighters and the bomb squad, who discovered gas cylinders in his car. The cylinders were declared useless shortly after.
– Two young officers were first on the scene, they engaged Ali. He lunged at them repeatedly with a knife.
– An unnamed hero joined the fray, affectionately nick-named ‘Trolley Man’ after he attempted to stop the knifeman by repeatedly attacking him with a trolley.
– An officer shot Ali in the chest, he dropped to the ground and was arrested.
– He was taken to hospital in a critical condition.
– Police were made aware of other victims of the knife attack. Three men were taken to hospital. Mr Malaspina, who died, and the two other men, who are both in stable conditions.
6pm Friday November 9: Superintendent David Clayton spoke with media and said they were not certain the attack was terror related, but would not rule it out.
8:30pm Friday November 9: Victoria Police commissioner Graham Ashton spoke with media and confirmed the attack was terror related. He also confirmed Ali was known to state and federal police, as well as ASIO.
– Ali died in hospital.
– His identity was revealed, and further affiliations to terror were revealed.
11:30pm Friday November 9: ISIS claim the terror attack in Melbourne.
Saturday November 10: Police raided two homes affiliated with Ali.