A survivor who was stabbed during the Bourke Street terror attack has spoken publicly for the first time about the incident.
Shadi, 26, who asked his last name not be released, said he initially thought there has been a traffic accident when he saw Hassan Khalif Shire Ali’s vehicle on fire.
“I thought there were innocent people in the vehicle,” Shadi said in an interview with Victoria Police that aired on 7 News. “I went to try to go to assist. I didn’t know what was going on. There was a loud explosion.”
The Hampton Park man, who was stabbed in the neck, had been working as a security guard in the Melbourne CBD for a month before last Friday’s horrific incident.
“Everyone was screaming and running, then out of nowhere … I got attacked,” he said. “I didn’t even have time to react. He straight away stabbed me, tried to kill me, he hit me in the neck.”
Despite his injuries, Shadi said he was determined to prevent anyone from being stabbed.
“The attacker was on the loose, stabbing people for no reason, no cause whatsoever. My main concern was to make sure he does not attack any more civilians, innocent people, to save their lives.”
The 26-year-old said he tried to fend the attacker off, but he couldn’t because of all the blood.
“I tried to fend the attacker off. I couldn’t defend myself though — there was too much blood. I couldn’t physically see out of the left side of my eye,” he said.
The security guard was in Bourke Street when Somali-born Australian Shire Ali went on a rampage in Melbourne’s Bourke Street, stabbing two others before being shot in the chest by police.
Video footage showed Shire Ali first driving his ute down Bourke Street, before setting it on fire and attacking police and bystanders with a knife.
The 30-year-old, who was reportedly known to authorities, later died in hospital from his wounds. One of his victims, Melbourne cafe owner Sisto Malaspina, died at the scene. A state funeral for Malaspina will be held next Tuesday morning at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne.
Tasmanian man Rod Patterson, who was stabbed in the head by Shire Ali, survived the attack and released a statement from the Alfred Hospital over the weekend where he said he was receiving “fantastic care”.
Meanwhile, Shadi said he would now like to become a police officer, having admired officers since he was a child. The 26-year-old was treated in hospital for stab wounds and released on Sunday, but has not yet returned to work.
Shire Ali’s family released a statement on Sunday and insisted he wasn’t a terrorist and that he was instead “crying for help”.
Speaking exclusively to 9 News, family representative Imam Isse Musse explained: “They think that their child had mental problems. They could not believe their ears when they heard that their son committed this act.”
Isse Musse claimed the 30-year-old was “delusional” and that he told his family someone was chasing him with spears. According to the report, Shire Ali had become distant from his family in the lead up to the attack.