NEWS

Three-Month-Old Baby Dies, Death Toll Rises To Five After Melbourne Car Attack

The second child to pass away following the tragic incident.

20/01/2017 2:00 PM AEDT | Updated 22/01/2017 6:35 AM AEDT

The death toll from the horrific car attack in Melbourne on Friday has risen to five after a three-month-old baby boy died in hospital on Saturday night.

His death comes after a 10-year-old girl, two men aged 25 and 33 and a woman aged 32 also passed away as a result of injuries sustained in the incident on Friday. More than 30 people were also assessed by paramedics in hospitals following the attack with four remaining in a critical condition.

The losses have left the Melbourne community in mourning, with a memorial to be set up at the site of the incident on Bourke Street in the city's centre.

The alleged driver at the centre of the tragedy, Dimitrious "Jimmy" Gargasoulas, remains in hospital under a police guard and is yet to be interviewed by police.

It is understood three children still remain in hospital.

EARLIER...

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says a memorial will be established at the site of Friday's horrific car attack in Melbourne that killed four people and has left many more fighting for life in hospital.

Andrews told reporters on Saturday that the memorial would be set up to show Melburnians' supprt, love, care and compassion towards those impacted by the shocking incident.

"I will lay flowers there in just a few moments," he said.

"I'm sure that just as we've seen with other tragic acts, both here and abroad, Victorians will come together and show that mark of respect, that act of kindness, a small loving act in memory of those who have died, in memory of those who will forever be changed by the terrible things we witnessed here yesterday, and in a real sense of hopefulness for the future."

Roads in central Melbourne have reopened in the vicinity of where the four people, including a young child, were killed after a driver ploughed through pedestrians on Friday afternoon, sparking chaos in a tragedy described previously by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as a "vicious criminal attack".

More than 20 people were being assessed by paramedics after a car, driven by a 26-year-old man, ran down 15 pedestrians on Bourke and Queen Streets. It was not a terrorist incident and the man was arrested at the scene, police confirmed.

A man and woman in their 30s standing at different locations were killed, as well as a young child. On Friday night Victoria Police confirmed a fourth person had died, but did not provide further details. Five more young people -- including a two-month-old -- were being treated at Melbourne's Royal Children Hospital.

Victoria Police tweeted on Saturday that roads in the vicinity of the horrific incident had reopened to the public.

Police confirmed they shot the 26-year-old man, who was the sole occupant of the car, and was being treated for non-life threatening injuries. Police say the alleged offender has an extensive family violence history, and came to police attention "on many occasions" in the past.

"We have mental health and drug-related issues in the background of this particular person," Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told reporters on Friday.

"He has been coming to our attention more recently over recent days in relation to assaults, family violence-related assaults. There are many witnesses to this event."

The homicide squad was now investigating the tragic incident. Ashton said police had to take a critically injured child to hospital because there was no time to wait for the ambulance.

"We couldn't wait for the ambulance to arrive, such was the condition of the child and that child is currently -- that infant child is currently in a critical condition at hospital at the moment," he said.

Ashton police had earlier pursued the man in the car before bringing in Police Air support.

"That's when this incident has occurred. He has continued that really erratic driving," Ashton said. "Often when we pull back, we bring in the air-wing, the driving settles, gives us an opportunity to come in.

But in this case, he has continued to drive erratically, get into the city and you have seen what happens after that.Graham Ashton

Premier Daniel Andrews praised the response of emergency services.

"We are stronger than this," he said. "We, through our response, through the work of our emergency services, the work that the instinctive way in which Victorians have reached out to support each other, we can be confident that we are stronger than this evil criminal act."

Young Patients Critical

The Royal Children's Hospital of Melbourne spokesman told reporters five patients had been admitted including a three-month-old who was in the operating theatre, a 2-year-old was in intensive care and a 9-year-old was being treated for limb injuries.

"We have have a mixture of injuries from orthopaedic to neurosurgical, and possibly some abdominal injuries," the spokesman said. "It's a significant event that require hospital staff to be fully prepared and moving. It's a critical condition for those children involved."

On Saturday, it was confirmed three patients from the incident remain in hospital with the three-month-old in a critical condition, the 2-year-old in a serious condition and the 9-year-old currently stable, according to The Royal Children's Hospital of Melbourne.

A 12-year-old was also undergoing assessment and a 23-year-old was being treated for a limb injury on Friday.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described it was a "vicious criminal attack" while Melbourne's Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle added it was a "deliberate act of violence".

Police said the incident is linked to a stabbing that took place in the city's southern metro region early on Friday morning. It's alleged the same man took a woman who is known to him hostage in his car. She managed to escape from the car on the Bolte Bridge.

Acting Commander Stuart Bateson confirmed police believed the man they arrested was connected to the earlier stabbing.

"I can also confirm that this is not a counter terrorism-related incident," Bateson said on Friday afternoon. "At this present stage, we ask the public to avoid the city. It is going to take us a really long time to process this scene.

"Our priority at the moment is with the injured, and it must be that we give them our attention."

Large sections of Bourke St were closed to pedestrians.

Erratic Driving

The busy district was thrown into chaos on Friday as pedestrians were forced to flee for their lives after the car -- which was reportedly moving erratically -- allegedly struck pedestrians.

What appears to be CCTV footage of people fleeing from the path of the car has been uploaded to Twitter.

Former Victoria Police commissioner Christine Nixon saw the incident unfold and told the ABC one of the injured was a toddler, who it appeared was thrown out of a pram.

"[The toddler's mother] kept asking me 'where's the baby?' and said 'I don't know'," Nixon told the national broadcaster.

Nixon said the car missed her by a metre when she was standing on the corner Bourke and William waiting to cross the road.

"I turned around and saw the car. He was probably about a metre from me, I stepped back [from the road] and he continued down Bourke Street on the footpath, with people chasing him," she said.

Fairfax/Leigh Hennignham
The car involved in the alleged incident in Melbourne's CBD.

'Not Just Random'

Sydney-based journalist Marie Desset was shopping with her mother when they walked out of the Royal Arcade in Bourke Street mall to see the man recklessly driving through the pedestrian strip.

"First I assumed it was a guy just trying to escape after a hijacking, but he didn't seem to avoid pedestrians," the 31-year-old told The Huffington Post Australia.

Desset said she was three to five metres away from the car, when the man drove it past Myer in Bourke Street mall.

"I was comforting my mum who had seen some people hit by the car and then I turned and saw a guy on the floor, who had been hit, and quite quickly realised there was no time to comfort my mum -- we needed shelter," Desset said.

"At that moment I realised it was not just a random situation. It could be from a bigger scale."

Eyewitness Laura Polson told the ABC she saw the car circling and thought it had been involved in a crash.

"People were trying to stop this man who was driving around and around and he was half hanging outside the car -- even the street performer in Federation Square was warning the crowd to stay away, because he was just so reckless... to the point where you, you know, he just didn't care, obviously, what he was doing," she said.

"It was absolute chaos and from that very moment, the sirens have not stopped. The police helicopter was coming lower and lower at that point."

Parts of the street were thrown into lockdown, and police want people to avoid the area.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the central city will be locked down on Friday night, and he urged residents to plan their trips home, allow time and leave early.

Yarra Trams confirmed all trams have been stopped between Market St and Queensberry St nearby.

ALSO ON HUFFPOST AUSTRALIA

More On This Topic