A man is dead after embarking on a crime spree which stretched across four Sydney suburbs – and saw a bystander knifed.
The chaos began when police tried to pull over the man on the Hume Highway in Bass Hill about 3pm on Friday as he wasn’t displaying number plates.
Instead of stopping, the 24-year-old rammed a police car and kept driving before ditching his silver ute in Chullora and stealing a Woolworths delivery truck.
The driver fled towards Wiley Park, ricocheting off at least four parked vehicles as he attempted to evade pursuing police.
He was forced to abandon the Wooolworths truck after crashing into parked cars in Rockdale.
A man is dead after committing a crime spree which stretched across four Sydney suburbs – and saw a bystander knifed
The chaos first unfolded when police tried to pull over the man on the Hume Highway in Bass Hill and soon stretched across Sydney’s south
Terrified witnesses said watching the chaos unfold was ‘traumatising’
Emerging from the stolen truck the man began abusing bystanders in Arabic.
A 20-year-old man came out of the gym and tried to calm the driver down, but was instead stabbed in the stomach with a 25cm long kitchen knife, witnesses said.
‘It was the worst thing I have seen in my life, it was crazy,’ terrified witness Harry Magwawi told 9News, adding that watching the chaos unfold was ‘traumatising’.
The assailant then hijacked a red taxi and fled the scene, with video posted to social media showing him take off on the wrong side of the road and mount the kerb.
Another witness revealed to 9News: ‘He pulled out in front of us and there was blood coming out onto his white shirt.’
Police caught up to the assailant on Forest Road in Arncliffe about 3.30pm, near St Francis Xavier’s Catholic Primary School.
A knifeman stabbed himself to death after carjacking two vehicles and stabbing a bystander in a rampage through four Sydney suburbs
The moment a 20-year-old man came out of the gym and tried to calm the driver down, but was instead stabbed in the stomach with a kitchen knife
The assailant then carjacked a red taxi and fled the scene, with video posted to social media showing him take off on the wrong side of the road and mount a kerb
Officers gave him first aid but he died at the scene. A white sheet was seen placed over the body
He got out of the car and rather than be arrested, repeatedly turned his knife on himself as police looked on in horror.
Officers gave him first aid but he died at the scene. A white sheet was seen placed over the body.
The families of both the alleged perpetrator and his victim spoke to Seven News following the chaos, revealing the victim’s family was ‘absolutely distraught’.
The young man who was stabbed outside the gym remains in an induced coma in a serious but stable undergoing surgery in St George Hospital.
The knifeman was known to police and had a history of mental health issues, authorities said.
NSW Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Mick Fitzgerald said the man had a ‘mental health background’ but not an extensive criminal history.
‘It was a man doing everything he could to avoid arrest. His actions, particularly when he stabbed an innocent person, are the actions of someone we believe who had mental health issues,’ he said.
‘It would appear to us that the offender wasn’t trying to intentionally harm people along the way. He could have, if he wished to, harm a great deal of both humans and vehicles.’
The Woolworths truck by the side of the road after it crashed into several other cars and stopped, before the driver got out, stabbed a bystander, and carjacked a taxi
The red taxi at the scene in Arncliffe after the knifeman stabbed himself to death in front of police
Officers and paramedics examine the body of the man after he killed himself in front of them
Chris Burton witnessed the Rockdale stabbing and went to the victim’s aid as he lay on the gorund in a pool of blood.
‘He was laying there, like, ‘I’m going numb’. It was a good knife. It went all the way in,’ he told 10 News.
‘I put my hand on [the wound], sat him down and told him what my mother taught me, breathing techniques.’
NSW Ambulance Inspector Jordan Emery said bystanders like Mr Burton and others and who ran to his aid helped save the victim’s life.
‘We arrived on scene to find a truck had collided with two vehicles and there was a male patient who had sustained an abdominal stab wound,’ he said.
‘The injured male had sustained a significant stab wound to his abdomen and was lying on the roadside with a number of members of the public and police providing first aid to him.’
West Botany Street remains taped off and police are interviewing people at the scene
The man got out of the car and rather than be arrested, repeatedly turned the knife on himself as police looked on in horror
Mr Emery thanked members of the public and police for their quick-thinking.
‘It was quite a dynamic scene, there was a number of bystanders crowding around the patient, police did a tremendous job providing first aid to this male and it makes all the difference in these time critical emergencies,’ he said.
‘Members of the public did provide direct pressure to the wound which is one of the hallmark treatments for life-threatening haemorrhage. They provided that care to him prior to police arrival.’
Acting Assistant Commissioner Fitzgerald also praised the people who ran to help the injured man in a dangerous situation.
‘Indeed, the members of the public who came to the aid of other drivers and the victim in West Botany Street are to be commended and will receive formal commendation from police,’ he said.
A female driver who was in one of the cars hit by the Woolworths truck suffered minor injuries and taken to St George Hospital.
West Botany Street remains taped off and police are interviewing people at the scene.