A school photo taken of Mert Nay in Year 8 shows the otherwise ‘lonely and weird’ teenager smiling in his Blacktown Boys High School uniform
He looks like any other teenager, grinning cheekily in a photo for his school yearbook.
But Mert Ney, now 21, grew up and allegedly murdered a sex worker and stabbed another woman during a six-minute rampage that has sent shockwaves across Australia.
Ney was arrested at about 2pm on Tuesday after he was tackled by heroic witnesses who used chairs and milk crates to pin him down in Sydney city centre.
Brave British bystanders Lee Cuthbert, Paul O’Shaughnessy and Luke O’Shaughnessy, all from Manchester, restrained the man until police arrived.
The bloodied knifeman was earlier seen wielding a large blade and calling on someone to shoot him.
Those scenes were a far cry from a school photo taken of him in Year 8, showing the teenager smiling in his Blacktown Boys High School uniform.
Ney, who grew up in Marayong, west Sydney, is the middle of three siblings and the son of Turkish-Cypriot parents.
‘He was not much of a talker,’ said Reen Elomari, who went to primary school with him.
Mert Ney, 21, (pictured) was was subdued by heroic British bystanders using chairs and milk crates during the incident on Tuesday afternoon
Ney (pictured), 21, was arrested at about 2pm on Tuesday in Sydney’s central business district after allegedly stabbing a sex worker to death and throwing the city into chaos
Ney stands accused of shutting down Sydney city centre during a terrifying rampage that left a 21-year-old sex worker dead. The woman’s body is seen being taken from her home
‘He always used to walk fast, not many friends, never used to say anything.
‘I always used to see him roam around the streets alone. I would see him around my house. I’d see him maybe a couple of times [at the shops], just alone.’
One of his sisters would play hot potato in the front yard of one of Ms Elomari’s relatives, but the shy boy refused to participate and would stand there with his arms crossed.
‘He’d say, ”time to go home”,’ she recalled.
But she and family members said they never would have anticipated the violence and were stunned when Facebook began lighting up with reports of the identity of the accused knifeman.
Although the incident is not being treated as terror-related, the attacker was described by police as a ‘lone actor’ who may have some terrorist ideologies. Officers are investigating whether he escaped from a mental institution.
Police said while the suspect had no known links to terror groups, he did have a thumb drive with details of mass-casualty white-supremacist attacks in the US and New Zealand.
Earlier, three British colleagues described how they raced from their fourth-floor office to the street.
‘We’ve opened the window and seen the guy wielding a knife and jumping on the bonnet of a nearby car,’ said Paul O’Shaughnessy, 37, a former midfielder at Bury between 1999 and 2004.
Paul O’Shaughnessy (right and left, in his playing days with Bury in 2003), speaking with a distinctive northern accent, told reporters the man ‘had a balaclava on, he was wielding a knife with blood on it’
Convinced it was a terrorist attack, his brother Luke – a champion Muay Thai boxer – led the chase.
‘We all just ran down the building and chased him down the street,’ said Roberts. ‘Everyone was kind of panicking, no one really knew what was happening,’ he said. ‘Not your normal Tuesday afternoon.’
Cuthbert said Luke, with the help of another man, ‘managed to get him down on to the floor and pin him down’ with chairs and a plastic crate before police arrived.
Convinced it was a terrorist attack, Luke O’Shaughnessy (right) – a champion Muay Thai boxer – led the chase
Lee Cuthbert (pictured) said Luke, with the help of another man, ‘managed to get him down on to the floor and pin him down’ with chairs and a plastic crate before police arrived
‘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
‘We’re a very, very close team, we’re a start-up recruitment company’ he added. ‘We’re all brothers really, so when you see brothers running, your natural instinct is to go and follow.’
Police spokesman superintendent Gavin Wood hailed the action of the bystanders.
Another of Ney’s neighbours, Jenny Threadgold, said he was believed to have mental health problems and reports have claimed he had absconded from a treatment facility in recent days.
Friends who went to school with him claim he had recently converted to Islam and was an ‘odd person’.
But a man who was in the same class as the alleged attacker in 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 [on Facebook] 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.’
Stunned onlookers were frozen in the street as the man with a knife (pictured) began his rampage through the streets
Ney, 21, grew up in a weatherboard home (pictured) in Marayong, near Blacktown, the middle sibling of two siblings and the son of Turkish-Cypriot parents
The alleged attacker was seen running down the pavement and at one point kicked a parked bicycle at a member of the public
The Marayong home of suspect Mert Nay was being searched by NSW Police on Tuesday night in Sydney’s west
Ney’s Facebook page has since been deleted, but another school friend claims to have spoken to him just last week, saying he planned to attend a music festival.
HOW THE SYDNEY HOMICIDE AND STABBING UNFOLDED:
* 2pm: Police receive calls about a man armed with a knife and wearing a balaclava wandering York Street in Sydney’s CBD.
* Officers arrive to find a 41-year-old woman suffering a stab wound at the Hotel CBD on the corner of King and York Streets.
* A short time later, three members of the public detain the 21-year-old attacker, before he’s arrested by police.
* 3.15pm: The body of a 21-year-old woman is found in a Clarence Street unit.
* Police investigate whether the body is linked to the earlier stabbing.
* 5.30pm: NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller confirms the two crimes are linked and reveals the alleged attacker – 21-year-old Mert Ney – has a history of mental health issues.
* Police say the Marayong man has no links to terrorist organisations but does have some ‘ideologies in relation to terrorism’.
* Ney was allegedly carrying material ‘about other crimes of mass casualties and mass deaths around the world’, the commissioner says.
* Detectives conduct a thorough search of Ney’s western Sydney home.
‘He just had a vibe, he was just an odd person – he didn’t have many friends,’ he said.
Police said Ney had previously been spoken to for a series of minor crimes.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Ney had a weapons charge dismissed by a magistrate in June.
He was caught with knuckledusters, but was let off under a Section 10 without conviction in a local court.
Police went to Ney’s home in Marayong following a ‘concern for welfare’ report and found the knuckledusters.
He pleaded guilty to having the weapon and was sentenced to a conditional release order, while no conviction was recorded.
The conditions included that he seek help for his mental health.
Weeks later, on August 7, Ney arrived at Blacktown Hospital’s emergency department after suffering a drug overdose.
He was last seen bursting out of an ambulance at 6.40am the following day and police were informed.
Police were on the search for Ney last week in relation to a domestic violence issue that reportedly involved his sister.
Investigators do not believe Tuesday’s incident was terror-related, and said the alleged attacker did not have links to any terrorist organisations – despite witnesses saying they heard the muttering of religious slogans including ‘Allahu Akbar’.
But New South Wales 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 referenced mass shootings in New Zealand and the US – including March’s Christchurch terror attack, police said.
Alleged attacker Mert Nay is believed to have acted at random, and is expected to be charged. He is seen being restrained by witnesses and police
Neighbours that knew Ney growing up say he was ‘not much of a talker’ and wouldn’t interact with others. Police are pictured outside his home
Medication was also found close to the spot he was apprehended – and was identified as a drug used to combat anti-anxiety called antinex, Channel Seven reported.
Meanwhile, it’s believed the woman who police suspect had her throat slashed by Ney was a sex worker operating from her home.
The 21-year-old’s body was found on the fourth floor of a Clarence Street building at 3.15pm on Tuesday.
Moments before Ney was arrested, another woman was found inside the Hotel CBD (centre business district) with a stab wound. She was taken to hospital in a stable condition.
Body of Sydney stabbing rampage victim, 21, who had her throat slit is carried out of her apartment – as it’s revealed she was a sex worker operating from her home
By Sahar Mourad for Daily Mail Australia
The woman who police suspect had her throat slashed by the man accused of the Sydney knife rampage was a sex worker operating from her home.
The 21-year-old’s body was found on the fourth floor of a Clarence Street building at 3.15pm on Tuesday.
Police allege Mert Ney, also 21, slashed her throat with a butcher’s knife before sparking six minutes of carnage in the heart of the city.
Detectives are going through the pair’s phones to establish the nature of their relationship.
The victim had a personal listing on Locanto under the section ‘men seeking women’, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said Ney had visited the woman for ‘business purposes’.
‘It appears he (Ney) was there for a business purpose,’ he said.
The woman who police suspect had her throat slashed by the man accused of the Sydney knife rampage was a sex worker operating from her home. Her body was found on the fourth floor of a Clarence Street building on Tuesday afternoon
A man with a knife (left) can be seen walking towards a bystander (right) who was forced to use a chair to protect himself
WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT THE SYDNEY STABBING:
SUPERINTENDENT GAVIN WOOD: ‘A number of members of the public physically restrained the offender. They were significantly brave people. To approach a person with a mindset (that) this person did, with clear evidence of a stabbing previously, these people are heroes.’
WITNESS PAUL O’SHAUGHNESSY: ‘My brother, he was the hero. He got a grip of him, along with another guy we don’t know, and put a crate on his head. He was just mumbling religious things.’
@JACKHUDDO ON TWITTER: ‘So insane! A random dude just started stabbing people in the city right outside where we were having lunch.’
WITNESS DAVID VAUX ON THE ABC: ‘I was walking towards Wynyard Park and this man came running around the corner … and then came about five or six other men chasing him.’
‘They were armed with crowbars and one man had an axe and another man who was fireman, I think, had some firefighting implement and also then a man with a news camera on his shoulder.’
PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON ON TWITTER: ‘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.’
FEDERAL LABOR LEADER ANTHONY ALBANESE: ‘The details aren’t fully known yet but we congratulate the NSW Police on the work that they’ve done and amazingly brave bystanders who took action to apprehend this man.’
‘Very scary visuals, the fact that people were putting their own lives on the line by taking action was an act of incredible bravery and I certainly pay tribute to them.’
NSW POLICE COMMISSIONER MICK FULLER: ‘All the evidence we have at hand would link these two crimes (the killing and stabbing).’
‘There was certainly information found on him about other crimes of mass casualties and mass deaths around the world.’
NSW POLICE MINISTER DAVID ELLIOTT: ‘If you want to behave in this sort of manner … be aware, it’s not just the police that’ll respond, it’s the citizens, it’s the firies, it’s the ambos, it’s anybody else who thinks their city is going to be given that sort of disrespect.’
Dramatic footage showed Ney, wearing a grey hooded jumper and holding a large knife, jumping on top of a Mercedes while screaming ‘shoot me in the head’.
Witnesses tackled him and pinned his head down 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.
On Tuesday evening police praised civilians, fire fighters and ambulance staff for preventing ‘what could have been a much worse situation’.
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, 28, said she was was having lunch at the Regiment CBD cafe when the knife man was finally arrested.
An woman was stabbed in the back and was taken by ambulance from Hotel CBD in Sydney’s central business district
Ney, 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
She told Daily Mail Australia that fire and rescue workers wielding an axe and a crowbar, and a few civilians – two brandishing chairs – had given chase before finally restraining him.
‘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 today’s events had come as ‘a big surprise’.
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 a nearby street, watched in horror as the chaos unfolded.
‘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 when he suddenly heard terrified screams.
A woman was stabbed outside Hotel CBD and was taken away in an ambulance from the scene of the stabbing in Sydney
The area has been blocked off by police while investigations continue on Tuesday afternoon
‘There were a stack of people running down Barrack Place saying that there was a guy with a knife,’ he told news.com.au.
‘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’.
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.’
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.