Australia: 3 dead after car hits pedestrians in Melbourne

Car plows through pedestrians in a mall in Melbourne. Three dead, suspect arrested. Incident not believed to be terror-related.

Ben Ariel , | updated: 6:44 AM

Scene of incident in Melbourne, Australia
Scene of incident in Melbourne, Australia

Three people were killed and up to 20 others were injured on Friday after a car plowed through pedestrians in the Bourke St. mall in Melbourne, Australia.

A suspect has been arrested, according to Australia’s Sky News.

“There was a car that just sped along the footpath and hit people,” one witness told police at the scene.

A local police spokeswoman said that it is believed the man driving the car struck a number of pedestrians just before 2:00 p.m. (local time) on Friday.

There were unconfirmed reports of shots being fired before the man was arrested.

Officers told the media, according to Sky News, that the incident is not thought to be terrorism-related. Australia has been on alert in recent years due to concerns over terror attacks from radicalized locals who fought alongside groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq.

The country raised the terror threat alert level to high in September of 2014.

That same month, Australia arrested 15 terror suspects of an ISIS cell that was planning to behead a random member of the public in a campaign of terror.

More recently, police in Australia arrested seven suspects who were allegedly planning a series of bomb attacks in the heart of Melbourne on Christmas Day and were inspired by ISIS.