Three hero Brits pinned a knifeman to the ground with a milk crate after a brave pedestrian fought him off with a chair.
The attacker was heard shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ on top of a car after stabbing a woman in Sydney’s Central Business District, in Australia
A 21-year-old woman was killed during the rampage and two others were injured.
Lee Cuthbert, Paul O’Shaughnessy and Luke O’Shaughnessy, all from Manchester, were working in the area when they heard the man outside, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Paul, former Bury footballer who played for the team 70 times between 1998 and 2004, said “instinct” kicked in when they witnessed the attack.
They chased and wrestled the blood-soaked man to the ground in what they described as a ‘gut reaction’.
Police were called to the scene at around 2pm local time to reports of a man walking along the street armed with a knife.
A woman was found dead with her throat slashed near the scene.
In dramatic footage captured before the attacker was restrained, a member of the public could be seen running toward the knifeman with a chair in his arms.
Other members of the public then trapped the attacker under chairs and a milk crate, before police arrived and arrested him.
The three Brit heroes told the Australian paper: “We had a window open to get some air in and then we just heard the commotion […] we looked out and saw him on top of a car wielding a knife and we all just kind of reacted from there.
We just tried to get down as quick as we could. You don’t think, you just kind of react really, it was surreal, very, very surreal.
“We all kind of chased, worked together, but it was Luke who was the real hero. He pursued him the hardest and managed to get a grip of him.”
The 37-year-old added: “It’s almost like we’ve actually talked about it, like we’ve said ‘hopefully we are around because if it’s somebody with a knife and not a gun then we’re quite physical lads’.
He said ‘I’d sort it out’ and I’ve said ‘Yeah, I would’. So it was almost instinctively around that to go ‘Right, well let’s sort it out’.
“I didn’t even think about – and no disrespect to them – my young family.
“I just thought ‘Is my brother going to be alright?’ as we were running towards him.
“Luke’s straight in there on top of him and I’m looking at the scene going ‘there’s a big knife there which is covered in blood’.
“Luke, in fairness, did not let him go, he didn’t let go of the guy until he was fully cuffed and they’d picked him up.
“He’s really heroic to me in my eyes, he’s my brother.”
Paul told 9News they had chased the attacker for a while before pinning him down.
“I think he had a balaclava on, jumped on the car, wielding a knife with blood on it, and we’re like ‘wow, what is going on here?’,” he said.
So immediately all of us went down the escalator and we continued to chase the guy, why other people were just going away, because obviously he’s wielding a knife.
“I don’t know whether it’s an instinct thing or what but we were like, ‘right, we’ve just got to try to restrain this guy from doing anymore.
“And my brother and I just ran across here, other boys followed, and we managed to get a grip along with another guy and we’ve got a grip of him and we restrained him fully.
“We just waited for the cops to come. He’s got blood all over him.”
The attacker was then taken to Day Street Police Station.
NSW Police Superintendent Gavin Wood, speaking to reporters near the scene, said: “A number of members of the public actually physically restrained the offender.
“And I want to acknowledge those people, those members of the public who got involved. They are brave, and I can only use that word seriously.
“They are significantly brave people. They approach the person… with clear evidence of a stabbing previously.
“These people are heroes, and I want to acknowledge that.
“These members of the public going about their day-to-day business have jumped into a situation which was extremely dangerous, extremely hostile, and they have brought a person – who we will be alleging stabbed an innocent person for no specific reason – into custody and allowed us to do our job.”
A man whose car was jumped on by the suspect said he had been doing some Uber driving at the time, and was carrying an elderly couple.
He said he saw that traffic had stopped and people were running, telling Nine News Sydney: “All of a sudden this guy appeared with a knife in his hand covered in blood, down the front shirt.
“I thought OK well obviously I can’t go through all these cars.
“As I’m thinking about doing something the guy jumps on the front of the car which was on the bonnet over here and then he goes up to the very top.”
He added: “I froze for probably a split second but then I thought I’m hoping that he’s not covered in any explosives or anything, so I quickly accelerated so he can get off the car
He said he drove left and then took a right turn where he could see the suspect again being chased by police and public.
“He was fearless. He was completely fearless,” he said, adding that he had “a big scary knife” in his hand.
New South Wales Police said in a statement: “Inquiries are under way after the body of a woman was found inside a unit on Clarence Street, Sydney, about 3.15pm (0615 BST) today.
“Officers from Sydney City Police area command are on the scene and will conduct inquiries into whether the incident is linked to an earlier stabbing at a hotel on the corner of Clarence and King streets.”