One dead after man goes on knife-wielding rampage before shot by police in Melbourne's Bourke St

A person has died and two others are injured after a knife-wielding man unleashed an attack in Melbourne’s Bourke Street on Friday afternoon.

Police shot the man when he approached officers swinging the knife and he has since died in hospital.

Moments earlier, a ute had burst into flames on the busy CBD strip about 4.20pm.

“Police shot the male in the chest and he is now in a critical condition under guard in hospital,” Superintendent David Clayton told media following the incident.

“Three people have been stabbed, unfortunately, one is deceased at the scene, two other victims are currently in hospital.”

The three stabbing victims are all male.

The car burst into flames outside Bourke Street Mall. Source: Twitter/ Meegan May

At a press conference on Friday evening, Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton confirmed the gunman, 31, had died in hospital, succumbing to his injuries about half an hour after his arrival.

He also confirmed police are treating it as a terror incident. He said the attacker was a “person of interest” and was known to police before.

He said the man had moved to Australia from Somalia in the 1990s and was known to ASIO.

“For operational reasons, we now have the Counter-Terrorism command and homicide squad dealing with this matter,” he said.

Footage shows a man wielding a knife. Source: 7News

“We now know a bit more about the identity of that person,” he added.

“Initially that person didn’t have any identification on them but we believe we now have confirmation of the identity of that person.”

Comm Ashton said the counter-terrorism unit was investigating and he couldn’t give details of the attacker’s identity.

The chaos began when emergency services were called to a car fire on the corner of Swanston and Bourke streets about 4.20pm.

It was brought under control within about five minutes, a Metropolitan Fire Brigade spokeswoman said.

Comm Ashton confirmed there were gas canisters present inside the man’s ute.

A witness told 3AW they saw a pedestrian struck by the vehicle while another said her friends had seen someone with a knife in the area and she’d been told “he’d stabbed a security guard”.

Footage from the scene shows the man approach officers with a knife, making lunging motions.

Footage shows the man approach police with a knife. Source: 7News
An ambulance can be seen at the scene. Source: Kenny Cheng/ Supplied

An officer then shot the man in the chest. He was taken to hospital under police guard.

The area was cordoned off by the bomb squad and members of the public were asked to avoid the area.

Police said they are not looking for anyone further at this early stage of the investigation.

The busy area has been cordoned off as crowds watch on. Source: 7News

Ambulance Victoria said paramedics assessed three people at the scene, one which was later announced dead shortly after.

Two other men, aged 26 and 52, were taken to hospital, one with a head injury. Their injuries are non-life threatening. Witnesses told news outlets that one man had been stabbed in the face.

A police officer was also treated for a minor injury at the scene.

The ute was quickly extinguished at the scene. Source: Getty

The public warning system was utilised for the first time during the incident.

Victoria Police has urged members of the public to submit any footage or images of the incident to their Facebook page.