Officers were confronted near the burning vehicle by a man "brandishing a knife and threatening them" while passersby called out that people had been stabbed, Victoria state police Supt.
A man stabbed three passersby on a busy street in Melbourne, Australia, on Friday afternoon local time. The terrorist died later in the hospital. "Because he was on his stomach, they turned him over to see if he's alright, he was still alive", he said.
Police could not confirm reports the attacker had shouted "Allahu Akbar" as he launched his attack.
- The terrorist has been named as 30-year-old Somali-born Hassan Khalif Shire Ali.
They were hopeful his "situation would improve" after he married, but the imam said in recent weeks Shire Ali had given them fresh cause for alarm.
He had his passport was cancelled in 2015 after he was flagged as one of 300 potential security risks.More news: Saudi Coalition Asks To End Refueling Deal With US For Yemen War
"He is known to both Victoria Police and federal intelligence authorities".
Police have said they believe the attacker acted alone and they are not searching for other suspects.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton confirmed Ali died in the hospital after being shot by police.
Authorities said there would be an increased police presence around the Melbourne CBD and at major events in the coming days so the public could feel comfortable going about their business, but they did not believe there was an ongoing threat.
Officers said the auto contained several barbecue gas cylinders. Some of those witnesses said he was stabbed in the face.
A Victoria Police spokesperson told Broadsheet a man was arrested at the scene and taken to hospital under guard in a critical condition.More news: Prima Games is shutting down after 28 years
One witness, Sarah Krug said she was heading to the night noddle markets when "all hell broke loose".
Premier Daniel Andrews condemned the incident as "an evil and awful thing", thanking the police and citizens who responded and adding "as a city, will not be defined by this act of evil - we are bigger and stronger than this".
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews led the online praise of the officers and the passers-by who "came to the aid of complete strangers".
"Incredible work by police in Melbourne but also bystanders - one using a trolley to try subdue the man", Cyndi Lavrencic said. The police have also ruled out terrorism links.
Police believe he meant to cause an explosion in the city centre, a plan that Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said "wasn't sophisticated", with the vehicle catching fire but not exploding.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned the stabbing as an "evil and cowardly attack".More news: Trump Played Integral Part in Hush Payments to Stormy Daniels & Karen McDougal
The Islamic State's Amaq news agency claimed the "perpetrator of the operation" in Melbourne was an "Islamic State fighter" whose mission was to "target nationals of the coalition" fighting against ISIS. There has not been any independent confirmation of this claim as of yet.