Driver to be charged after deadly-rampage in Melbourne CBD

The man police believe is responsible for an inner-city rampage that killed four people in Melbourne yesterday, will receive multiple charges.

Police said Dimitrious Gargasoulas known as James 'Jimmy' Gargasoulas, 26, will be charged in relation to multiple homicides and some other charges.

They want him to be remanded in custody, Victoria's Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton told ABC.

The driver was under police guard in St Vincent's Hospital as homicide squad detectives head a major ­inquiry into the tragedy, News.com.au reported.

"We are stronger than this evil criminal act," was the message delivered to shocked Victorians after Gargasoulas ploughed through the crowd in Bourke St mall about 1.30pm (3.30pm NZT).

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Witnesses described frantic screaming and horrific injuries as four people - including a 10-year-old - were killed and more than 20 others injured after they were deliberately run down in the busy inner-city mall.

Last night six people were fighting for their lives, including a 3-month-old baby who was taken to hospital in a police car with injuries too severe to wait for an ambulance to arrive.

There were chaotic scenes at the city's four hospitals as emergency services were stretched to breaking point and Melbourne put in lockdown.

Police said Dimitrious Gargasoulas known as James 'Jimmy' Gargasoulas, 26, will be charged in relation to multiple homicides and some other charges.
Police said Dimitrious Gargasoulas known as James 'Jimmy' Gargasoulas, 26, will be charged in relation to multiple homicides and some other charges.

The injured ranged in age from the infant to a man in his forties. They include three children aged two, nine and 13 years old.

Police were at pains yesterday to point out the attack was not terror-related.

The carnage began when the car - driven by the 26-year-old-man, who had been involved in a stabbing with his brother and the kidnapping of a woman in the Melbourne suburb of Windsor earlier in the day - drove round in circles in the city centre. Many watched on, some filming, as others tried to dart across the road. Two men attempted to stop the vehicle by hitting it with batons.

When police arrived, the driver veered away and moments later ploughed through the crowd.

Bodies were tossed around like skittles, said witnesses. The dead included a 10-year-old and a man and woman, both in their 30s.

Witnesses say a pram was hit by the dark red Holden Commodore and dragged at least 100 metres. An infant was thrown from the pram.

The baby's frantic mother was heard screaming: "Where's my baby? Where's my baby?"

The driver - named last night as James 'Jimmy' Gargasoulas, who was charged in relation to a family violence assault last weekend - was shot in the arm by police and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

He was pulled from his car by police and seen shirtless and lying only in his underwear, surrounded by officers. Last night he remained under police guard in a ward - sharing a hospital with some of his victims.

A witness, Chris, told Sky News there was a "hell of a lot of blood".

"I feel pretty moved and quite sick. It's a horrible thing to have had happened. I was standing by the pram for a while and when police got here they screamed for everybody to get back and move."

Another witness, Sian Bayliss, spoke of seeing a young boy, aged about 9, with a bad abrasion to his head.

"There was just constant, high-pitched, panicked screaming, the terror in his eyes -- he just looked straight at me while I was talking to his father and just ... screaming. Out of control."

Others had terrible injuries.

"You know, there was one lady who looked like she had had a fairly serious spinal injury. They were just holding her very, very still, and it felt like a long time."

A Kiwi living in Melbourne, Erik Liang, saw the car careening down the road with police cars following.

"Everyone was just crying; it was a really sombre tone." Before the carnage, the driver took a woman hostage who police believe is not connected to him.

She escaped from the car before he began his deadly rampage.

Melbourne is currently the focus of the sporting world, with the globe's best tennis players in town - along with thousands of fans - for the Australian Open. Victoria Police said the Open was running as normal.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull offered his condolences yesterday.

"Our prayers and deepest sympathy are with the victims and their families, of this vicious criminal attack in Bourke St, Melbourne today," he said on Twitter.

- NZ Herald

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