'I just started running' – Irishman among group praised for taking down knifeman on rampage in Sydney

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'I just started running' – Irishman among group praised for taking down knifeman on rampage in Sydney
'I just started running' – Irishman among group praised for taking down knifeman on rampage in Sydney
Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @thisisbrodie of a man being tackled with a milk crate and chairs by members of the public in Sydney, Australia, following a knife attack. Brodie Smith/PA Wire
Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @thisisbrodie of a man being tackled with a milk crate and chairs by members of the public in Sydney, Australia, following a knife attack. Brodie Smith/PA Wire
Emergency services at a police cordon in Sydney, Australia near to the scene where a knife attacker was earlier apprehended by members of the public using chairs and a milk crate. Ellie Cullen/PA Wire
Emergency services at a police cordon in Sydney, Australia near to the scene where a knife attacker was earlier apprehended by members of the public using chairs and a milk crate. Ellie Cullen/PA Wire
A man watches as police attend a building where a woman’s body has been found in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
A man, center, points as he assists police at a building where a person has been found deceased after a man attempted to stab multiple people in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Screengrab taken with permission from a video issued by 7 News of a man wielding a knife stoof on the roof of a car in Sydney, Australia, following a knife attack. Andrew Denney/7 News/PA Wire
Screengrab taken with permission from a video issued by 7 News of a man wielding a knife as he is approached by a member of the public with a chair in Sydney, Australia, following a knife attack.Andrew Denney/7 News/PA Wire
Screengrab taken with permission from a video issued by 7 News of a man wielding a knife as he is approached by a member of the public with a chair in Sydney, Australia, following a knife attack. Andrew Denney/7 News/PA Wire
Police work at a scene where a man attempted to stab multiple people in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Paul O’Shaughnessy, center, tells how he and his brother Luke chased down a man who attempted to stab multiple people in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

An Irishman has been praised after he helped take down a knifeman who stabbed a woman to death and left another injured in Sydney, Australia.

Shane Donaghey from Buncrana in Co Donegal says he has no doubt that other people would have been killed but for the intervention of brave passers-by.

Luke O'Shaughnessy (left) and Paul O'Shaughnessy, two British brothers who have been hailed as heroes by police after they helped detain a knifeman linked to the death of a 21-year-old woman in Sydney. Alex Britton/PA Wire

Luke O'Shaughnessy (left) and Paul O'Shaughnessy, two British brothers who have been hailed as heroes by police after they helped detain a knifeman linked to the death of a 21-year-old woman in Sydney. Alex Britton/PA Wire

Luke O’Shaughnessy (left) and Paul O’Shaughnessy, two British brothers who have been hailed as heroes by police after they helped detain a knifeman linked to the death of a 21-year-old woman in Sydney. Alex Britton/PA Wire

The 38-year-old carpenter was one of a number of people who ran after the attacker during the incident at King Street.

After catching up with him, Shane helped pin him to the ground during the attack at Sydney’s Central Business District around 2pm this afternoon.

A man, center, points as he assists police at a building where a person has been found deceased after a man attempted to stab multiple people in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

A man, center, points as he assists police at a building where a person has been found deceased after a man attempted to stab multiple people in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

A man, center, points as he assists police at a building where a person has been found deceased after a man attempted to stab multiple people in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

The man, who was reportedly shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’, was waving a large butcher’s knife about after he killed the first woman.

He stabbed the 41-year-old in the back and then tried to attack other passers-by.

Emergency services at a police cordon in Sydney, Australia near to the scene where a knife attacker was earlier apprehended by members of the public using chairs and a milk crate. Ellie Cullen/PA Wire

Emergency services at a police cordon in Sydney, Australia near to the scene where a knife attacker was earlier apprehended by members of the public using chairs and a milk crate. Ellie Cullen/PA Wire

Emergency services at a police cordon in Sydney, Australia near to the scene where a knife attacker was earlier apprehended by members of the public using chairs and a milk crate. Ellie Cullen/PA Wire

Another woman was taken to hospital with stab wounds.

Selfless Shane and a group of other people ran after the man.

“It was crazy stuff. I just heard this commotion and this guy running down the street with a knife. His hands were covered in blood.

“I just started running and I soon caught up with him.

Screengrab taken with permission from a video issued by 7 News of a man wielding a knife stoof on the roof of a car in Sydney, Australia, following a knife attack. Andrew Denney/7 News/PA Wire

Screengrab taken with permission from a video issued by 7 News of a man wielding a knife stoof on the roof of a car in Sydney, Australia, following a knife attack. Andrew Denney/7 News/PA Wire

Screengrab taken with permission from a video issued by 7 News of a man wielding a knife stoof on the roof of a car in Sydney, Australia, following a knife attack. Andrew Denney/7 News/PA Wire

“We managed to get on top of him and others used pieces of makeshift furniture to keep him pinned down until the police arrived.

“He was crazy. He was trying to bite us and all but we managed to keep him pinned down,” Shane told Independent.ie.

Police work at a scene where a man attempted to stab multiple people in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Police work at a scene where a man attempted to stab multiple people in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Police work at a scene where a man attempted to stab multiple people in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Shane suffered cuts and bruises to his knees during the incident.

The Irishman paid tribute to the bravery of the public in helping to bring the man under control.

Paul O'Shaughnessy, center, tells how he and his brother Luke chased down a man who attempted to stab multiple people in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Paul O'Shaughnessy, center, tells how he and his brother Luke chased down a man who attempted to stab multiple people in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Paul O’Shaughnessy, center, tells how he and his brother Luke chased down a man who attempted to stab multiple people in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

“He was just wild when he was running down the street. I suppose like me the adrenalin kicked in and others took after him too.

“I’ve no doubt he would have killed others too if he had been allowed to run loose with that knife,” Shane added.

The city was sent into lockdown after the attack which has put Sydney on a high state of alert.

Shane moved to Australia with his mother and father and the rest of the family in 1988.

He is a successful carpenter who has worked on a number of high-end projects in Sydney.

Two British brothers were also hailed as heroes for tackling the knifeman and described themselves as “protectors”.

Luke and Paul O’Shaughnessy, from Bury in Greater Manchester, said they acted on instinct as they saw the man wielding a large blade running through the streets.

Racing down from their fourth-floor office, the brothers chased the attacker before tackling him to the ground and helping pin him down with a chair and milk crate.

Both said they were “proud” of their actions, but denied they were heroes – despite police and the country’s prime minister commending them for helping to tackle the suspect.

Paul, 37, a former midfielder with crisis-club Bury between 1999 and 2004, said: “I didn’t even think about it.

“I just thought is my brother going to be OK as we ran towards him.”

He added: “Our values as brothers is we are protectors.”

Brother Luke, 30, told PA: “I just wanted to make sure he couldn’t hurt anyone else.

“We’ve talked before about what we would do when we hear about these things happening around the world.

“We’re the kind of guys who ask questions later and act on instinct.”

He added: “If it happened again I would do it again and act quicker.”

The pair, who run digital talent agency MAP Talent, were in their office on York Street when the drama unfolded at around 3.15pm local time (6.15am BST).

Luke said they spoke of the danger they were running into as they jumped into the lift to go and help.

“I heard a massive commotion outside,” he told PA.

“I shouted ‘Paul, let’s go there’s a man with a knife’. As we came down in the lift I said ‘seriously, he’s covered in blood’.

“We came out onto King Street and ran from there all the way round trying to chase him.

“Eventually we caught up with him and I just apprehended him and pinned him down.

“He had a knife. It was next to him covered in blood.”

Other passers-by also stopped to help, including two firefighters.

The brothers said they kept the attacker detained until the police arrived on scene.

Paul, a father-of-two who has lived in Sydney for 11 years, said he felt it was his way of giving back to a country which had welcomed him with open arms.

“The thing I will reflect on is that I’ve given something back today by doing what’s right and that the British can do Britain proud by coming to another country and doing what they can to help,” he said.

Police confirmed they were investigating allegations the suspect yelled “Allahu akbar”, or “God is great”, but are not treating it as a terror incident.

Police said the suspect – a 21-year-old man from Maryong in New South Wales – attempted to stab several people in the Australian city, at around 6.15am BST (3.15pm local time) before being arrested.

A woman was found dead in a building nearby and police were investigating if the earlier stabbing at a hotel on the corner of Clarence and King streets was linked to the street attacks.

New South Wales Police Superintendent Gavin Wood, speaking to reporters near the scene, praised the men who tackled the suspect, also said to have included Manchester man Lee Cuthbert.

Mr Wood said: “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.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has commended the bystanders for intervening, describing their actions as “brave” .

Police said a second woman in hospital was not in a life-threatening condition, while a third woman was said to have a minor injury to her hand.

Witness Brodie Smith said on Twitter: “Saw the attacker drop his knife in the street on York St.

“I realised he had a knife and shouted about it, and he picked it up and ran.

“Then I saw all these people chasing him back the other way… and then this. I can’t imagine if he had a gun. We’d all be dead.”

Footage posted online appeared to show a suspect standing on a vehicle roof in the middle of a busy city street, holding a knife aloft and shouting before he was later apprehended.

The unnamed driver, an Uber driver, told Nine News Sydney: “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 was fearless. He was completely fearless.”

PA Media

Source: Irish