Two men have been injured after allegedly being attacked by a tomahawk-wielding stranger inside a shopping centre.
The alleged attacker was inside the Rosebud Plaza in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsular on Saturday about 10.15am when he set upon the two men.
One of the victims was 63 and the other was 47, according to Sergeant Sarah Blackmore who addressed media from the centre following the incident.
“He’s just randomly attacked them with a tomahawk. Unfortunately they’ve both been transported to the Alfred Hospital,” Sergeant Blackmore told reporters.
The 47-year-old man sustained serious injuries and the 63-year-old man is in a critical condition. Both men are local to Rosebud, police said.
Local police arrested the alleged assailant “quite quickly” following the incident, she said, confirming that he had been taken into custody.
Police said the offender, of no fixed address, initially ran from the scene before being arrested a short time later.
He has since been taken to hospital for assessment and had yet to be interviewed on Saturday evening.
Police said the exact cause of the incident is yet to be determined at this stage but the parties involved are not known to each other.
Witnesses tried distracting the man’s attention away from the two victims in courageous efforts to stop the “extremely dangerous” situation from escalating further, Sergeant Blackmore said.
“There were definitely people that were trying to intervene and trying to deflect his attention from the victims to try and get him to stop,” she said.
“It was an extremely dangerous thing to do and it’s not something that I would suggest for everyone to do, but it was certainly very brave.”
The Rosebud Plaza notified shoppers of the incident via its Facebook page, informing the public the centre would be closed temporarily while police conducted investigations.
“We are committed to working with the local police and encourage anyone who witnessed the incident to make contact with them,” the Saturday afternoon post read.
“We appreciate continued communication regarding this incident is important and we will provide updates as we are made aware of further information.”
A later update stated the centre’s Coles and Baker’s Delight stores had been reopened for trading, while the other businesses remained closed.
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