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Melbourne car attack: Turnbull mourns victims as death toll rises to five

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Four people remain in critical condition after accused killer, Dimitrious Jimmy Gargasoulas, allegedly ploughed into pedestrians on Bourke Street mall

Malcolm Turnbull has visited the scene of Melbournes CBD car attack, saying all Australians are grieving for those who lost their lives. He also praised the love and solidarity of bystanders who rushed to the aid of the injured on Friday.

The Victorian state government has put $100,000 towards helping the victims of the car attack in Melbournes CBD which killed five people.

Turnbull, visiting Bourke Street mall on Sunday with the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, and the Melbourne lord mayor, Robert Doyle, said the loss of fellow Australians in such a shocking, wanton criminal attack is a tragedy.

We are with you in love, and our thanks, our admiration, for the heroism of those who rushed to the aid of the victims, he said.

Victorian
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews, Australian federal police commissioner Andrew Colvin and Malcolm Turnbull speak at a media conference after laying flowers on the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth Street on Sunday. Photograph: Tracey Nearmy/AAP

In a statement late on Saturday night, Victorian police confirmed a three-month-old baby boy died in hospital. His pram could be seen lying on the road amid the carnage on Friday afternoon, when a driver ploughed into pedestrians on Bourke Street mall.

A 10-year-old girl, a 25-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman died at the scene, while a 33-year-old man died in hospital on Friday night.

Police said 37 other people had been treated for injuries in the attack, including four who remain in a critical condition.

Among those in hospital are the mother and younger sister of the 10-year-old victim, named on Saturday as Thalia Hakin.

Rabbi Daniel Rabin, who is on the rabbinical council for Thalias school, said the school community was shocked by the horrific tragedy.

We mourn the loss of our dear student and community member Thalia Hakin, as well as the others who lost their lives, Rabbi Rabin posted on Facebook. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hakin family.

A crowdfunding page set up by martial arts trainer Avi Yemini has raised more than $18,000 for the family.

[I saw] two little girls who came to class each week with bright and warm smiles, Yemini wrote on the page. They were always happy and bubbly and I am heartbroken to know that they have been torn apart in this most senseless and horrific way.

Caulfield MP David Southwick said in a post on Facebook the death of a community member really hits home.

I can understand the anger and sadness that everyone is feeling right now and we owe it to Thaila and other victims to fix the law and order problems we have in Victoria.

Andrews said everyones hearts had been broken by this tragedy.

Theres no one more innocent than a three-year-old boy in a pram, he said. As a parent, as a politician, as a Victorian, you cant help but feel that pain deep in your heart.

A community memorial and prayer service will be held in St Kilda East on Sunday night. A vigil is also being planned for Monday night at Federation Square.

On Saturday the state government announced the establishment of the Bourke Street Fund to help support the families of victims of the attack, with a contribution of $100,00 to start it off.

We mourn those who were killed by this evil criminal act and we offer our deepest condolences to their loved ones, the premier, Daniel Andrews, said in a statement.

Members of the community have been invited to donate to the fund, which will be overseen by an independent panel and used to provide financial support to the immediate families of the deceased.

Hundreds have visited Bourke Street mall since the attack on Friday to pay their respects to the victims of the tragedy, with tributes and bouquets amassing at a memorial set up outside the GPO on the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth streets.

Doyle said condolence books would be left in the foyer of the town hall.

Robert Doyle (@LordMayorMelb)

There will be condolences books in the foyer of Town Hall on Monday. Floral tributes welcome. #bourkestreet pic.twitter.com/gjsm1ZJort

January 21, 2017

The accused killer, Dimitrious Jimmy Gargasoulas, remains under police guard in hospital, where he is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. He was arrested after police shot him in the arm and blocked his way.

Victorias police commissioner, Graham Ashton, had said that police hoped to charge the 26-year-old this weekend after he had surgery to his arm. He had yet to be interviewed at the time of the statements release late on Saturday night.

Before the Bourke Street attack, Gargasoulas is alleged to have stabbed his brother Angelo at their mothers house in Windsor shortly after 2am. The Sun-Herald reported that Angelo had been placed in an induced coma in hospital.

Gargasoulas then allegedly took his girlfriend hostage in his car, from which she managed to escape on Bolte Bridge.

Gargasoulas was seen driving erratically around Melbourne, doing doughnuts around Flinders Street Station, in the moments before he ploughed his car into pedestrians in the CBD.

The homicide squad is investigating with the assistance of the Major Collision Investigation Unit. Police have encouraged witnesses or anyone with relevant information to come forward.

The state coroner, Sara Hinchey, said a coronial investigation would begin immediately to examine all aspects of the incident.

Gargasoulass mother, Emily Gargasoulas, told reporters she was ashamed to be his mum. I couldnt believe it … it make me feel sick, she said. She also apologised, saying she was so so sorry.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

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