Friends of the Sydney knifeman responsible for a rampage through the city centre claim he had recently converted to Islam and had threatened to launch on a music festival.
Mert Ney, 21, was arrested after he was subdued by heroic bystanders about 2pm using chairs and milk crates in Wynyard Street, after he allegedly killed a woman, 21, alleged to be a sex worker, and stabbed another woman, 41, outside a pub.
The alleged knifeman was seen on the corner of King and Clarence Street on Tuesday afternoon, wielding a large blade and calling on someone to shoot him.
A man was in the same class as Ney at Blacktown Boys High School said he was shocked at reports he was behind the attacks.
‘I always thought he was a bit weird and he was always posting about converting [to Islam] and stuff like that,’ the man, who wished to remain anonymous, said.
‘[But] I didn’t expect him to go this far.’
Mert Ney (pictured), 21, was arrested after he was subdued by heroic bystanders about 2pm
Stunned onlookers were scene frozen in the street as the man with a knife began his stabbing rampage through the streets
A man with a knife (left) can be seen walking towards a bystander (right) who was forced to use a chair to protect himself
Ney’s Facebook page has since been deleted, but another school friend claims to have spoken to him just last week.
‘He was talking about going to a festival… maybe he was going to do the attack there,’ the school friend said.
‘He just had a vibe, he was just an odd person – he didn’t have many friends.’
Police are investigating whether the alleged attacker, from Blacktown in the city’s west, had escaped from a mental institution.
They do not believe it is a terror-related incident, and said the alleged attacker did not have links to any terrorist organisations – despite witnesses reporting the attacker was muttering religious slogans including ‘Allahu Akbar’.
But NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said they found information on the man including a USB stick ‘suggesting he had some ideologies related to terrorism’.
The thumb drive allegedly also referenced mass shootings in New Zealand and the USA – including March’s Christchurch terror attack.
Commissioner Fuller added the suspect had been known to police, although his prior history did not compare to his alleged actions in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.
The alleged attacker is believed to have acted at random, and is expected to be charged later on Tuesday evening.
It is believed the woman who died in the attack was a sex worker and was known to Ney.
Medication was also found close to the alleged attacker, identified as a drug used to combat anti-anxiety called antinex, Channel Seven reported.
A spokesman for the city’s St Vincent hospital said the 41-year-old woman injured in Ney’s alleged attack was in a stable condition.
Dramatic footage showed the man, wearing a grey hooded jumper and holding a large knife, jumping on top of a Mercedes while screaming ‘shoot me in the head’.
Brave witnesses were able to tackle the man and pin his head down with a milk crate until police arrived and arrested him as hundreds of workers gathered.
In other footage, the alleged attacker was seen running down the pavement and at one point kicked a parked bicycle at a member of the public.
‘Do you know how many people you just stabbed, you dog? You just stabbed a chick, mate, in broad daylight,’ one of the men was heard screaming during the arrest.
A woman, second left, is led out of a building on Clarence Street by police after a man allegedly stabbed a woman inside
A man is in custody after allegedly stabbing a woman in Sydney’s CBD this afternoon
On Tuesday evening police praised civilians, fire fighters and ambulance staff for preventing ‘what could have been a much worse situation’.
NSW Police said the woman’s body was found in the unit on Clarence Street at 3.15pm, with a witness saying it was found on the building’s fourth floor.
Moments before the attacker was arrested, another woman was found inside the Hotel CBD with a stab wound. She was taken to hospital in a stable condition.
A painter working on a mural near where the man was arrested witnessed him charging down the street with a ‘big kitchen knife’ with five or six people in close pursuit.
Witness Jess Warren, 35, said she was was having lunch at the Regiment CBD cafe when the knife man was finally arrested.
She told Daily Mail Australia fire and rescue workers wielding an axe and a crowbar, and a few civilians, two brandishing chairs, had given chase before finally restraining him.
As many as six people were stabbed during the incident on Tuesday. Emergency crews rushed to help the victims
A man wearing a grey hoodie covered in blood wielding a large knife could be seen yelling in the street as hundreds of people fled for their lives
‘One of the guys who was chasing pushed him in the back, then as he was falling the firies got him in the legs, and then they pinned him down with the chairs,’ she said.
‘Then they just sat on him until the cops came.’
‘People couldn’t believe it, then everyone started standing on their chairs to see over the crowd.’
Ivan, 25, arrived home from work just before 6pm and was told by police he would be locked out of his apartment building for ‘a few hours’.
‘I’ve lived here since March… I’ve seen police out the front maybe once, but nothing like this.’
The city worker told Daily Mail Australia he had never seen the knife man in his building before, and todays events had come as ‘a big surprise’.
Footage shows the attacker being pinned to the ground by hero bystanders carrying milk crates
‘I was just acting on instinct’: Hero bystander recounts the moment he pinned crazed knifeman to the ground using a MILK CRATE after stabbing a woman and attacking others in Sydney’s CBD
A heroic bystander managed to stop a blood-soaked man who allegedly went on a stabbing rampage at Sydney’s Wynyard train station on Tuesday just after 2pm.
A man wearing a grey hoodie covered in blood and wielding a large knife could be seen yelling in the street as hundreds of people fled for their lives.
Luke O’Shaughnessy who watched as the incident unfolded, managed to subdue the crazed attacker by putting a milk crate over his head.
‘It was terrifying mate, it was really bad,’ his brother Paul told Daily Mail Australia.
A heroic bystander has managed to stop a blood-soaked man who allegedly went on a stabbing rampage at Sydney’s Wynyard train station on Tuesday just after 2pm
‘I was just acting on instinct really. We all just kind of followed suit and just did what we could’.
‘Obviously there’s something clearly wrong with him, he didn’t look normal or anything like that’.
‘It was an intense moment. I’ve got a lot of emotion running high as well. It was pretty scary stuff’.
Paul O’Shaughnessy, who owns a recruitment company on nearby King Street, said they heard ‘a big kerfuffle and shouting’.
‘Luke, my brother, popped his head out and said ‘what’s going on? There’s a guy holding a knife’,’ he said.
Luke O’Shaughnessy chased the attacker and managed to pin him to the ground
Footage showed the attacker being pinned to the ground by hero bystanders carrying milk crates
Another woman, who asked not to be named, said police had told her it would be ‘a couple of hours’ until she could go home.
‘I just walked here from my office, and they’re not letting anyone in,’ she said.
‘Maybe I will just head back there. I’ll have to call my [real estate] agent in case they tell him something.’
Witness Megan Hales said there was a group of people running away from the knife man but it wasn’t clear if he was chasing after them, or running away from the group that was trying to stop him.
‘At that point there were people chasing him down the street trying to stop him,’ Ms Hales, who was at work on Wynyard Street, said.
Ms Hales described the man as being in his late 20s or early 30s, Caucasian and with dark curly hair.
‘He wasn’t looking in great shape – it was fast.
‘A whole lot of guys just came down on top of him and laid him down’.
A barista named Marco, who was working at Batch Café, on York Street, watched in horror as the chaos unfolded.
The Transport Management Centre urged motorists to avoid King Street – south of the city’s Wynyard Station – following the alleged attack on Tuesday afternoon
A woman on a stretcher is being taken away in an ambulance from the scene of a stabbing in Sydney
A person can be seen being hauled into an ambulance after the chaos in Sydney on Tuesday
Travel chaos as buses are cancelled, roads are closed and trains are delayed following stabbing frenzy in Sydney’s CBD
Police were called to King and Clarence Streets in the CBD, near Wynyard Station at about 2pm on Tuesday after a man (pictured) allegedly stabbed a woman with a knife
Commuters were left stranded on Tuesday afternoon after a crazed knifeman in the Sydney CBD allegedly sparked a massive police operation.
Major roads were blocked off, and the main entrance to Wynyard Station was closed as police investigate the stabbing of one woman, and death of a second.
The alleged knifeman was seen on the corner of King and Clarence Street on Tuesday afternoon, wielding a large knife and calling on someone to shoot him.
Police blocked off King, Wynyard and Carrington streets just after 2pm. King Street remains closed between Clarence and York, and Clarence Street is closed northbound between Market Street and King Street.
‘He was trying to smash a driver-side window of a random car with the knife. He was unsuccessful.
‘People were chasing him by that stage. There was fireys chasing him with axes and he went around the corner.’
Adrian Papaianni was walking along Clarence Street when when he suddenly heard terrified screams.
‘There were a stack of people running down Barrack Place saying that there was a guy with a knife,’ he told news.com.au.
Bystanders were told to after a man appeared in the street with a knife
‘I ran into the Woolworths and people inside got them to shut the glass doors. I was feeling OK until I saw a mother crying with her baby in her hands, trying to get into the Woolies.
‘Police started arriving about a minute later and started to chase him.’
An Uber driver said the knifeman jumped on the bonnet of his car with a knife in his hand and blood on his shirt.
He told 2GB: ‘I was next to a fire truck in York Street and he jumped on the bonnet of my car. He crashed across the bonnet and had a knife in his hand.
‘There was blood on his shirt. People had their phones out and there was a police’.
The area has been blocked off by police while investigations continue on Tuesday afternoon
A woman at the scene told Daily Mail Australia: ‘A crazy man is running around Wynyard with a knife stabbing people.
‘My work colleague’s boyfriend was standing right next to the guy who was stabbed. Has the world gone mad?’
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described the incident as ‘deeply disturbing’ while commending the bravery over the bystanders who stepped in to help.
‘The violent attack that took place in Sydney this afternoon is deeply concerning. The attacker is now in police custody following the brave actions of those who were present at the scene and were able to able to restrain him,’ he shared on Twitter.
‘The motivation for this attack has not yet been determined as Police are continuing with their enquiries. Any further offical information will be provided by the New South Wales Police, who are keeping us appraised through our agencies, including details of casualties.’
Officers were seen walking into the Hotel CBD on King Street and speaking with patrons, while others stood guard
Dramatic picture taken by a tourist in the back seat of a cab shows the crazed knifeman carrying a 30cm blade as a middle aged businessman attempts to bring him to the ground with a chair
By Hannah Moore For Daily Mail Australia
A gripping photograph shows the moment a brave onlooker holding a wicker chair prepared himself to restrain a crazed knifeman in the Sydney CBD.
The man can be seen outside the Hotel CBD on King Street, as the knifeman, believed to be about 25, clutches his knife tightly.
Pictured: The moment a brave onlooker prepares to restrain a crazed knifeman on a city road
The picture was taken by tech worker Ayusha, who was on holiday in Sydney.
‘We just came across the guy with a knife on the street,’ she captioned the image. ‘Apparently he had some blood on his shirt. We are all safe in the car.’
The knifeman was seen jumping on top of a black Mercedes shouting ‘Allahu Akhbar’ and brandishing his weapon moments before the businessman ran towards him with a chair.
‘Oi,’ the businessman yelled, ready with his chair.
‘Shoot me, shoot me in the f***ing head,’ the knifeman yelled as he stormed through the intersection.
A woman was found with a stab wound near The Hotel CBD on Tuesday afternoon