Sydney stabbing: One woman dead as three British men praised for restraining knife-wielding attacker

Dating service

Three British men were hailed as heroes on Tuesday for wrestling a knife-wielding man to the ground after he had allegedly stabbed one woman to death and wounded another in Sydney.

Lee Cuthbert, Paul O'Shaughnessy and Luke O'Shaughnessy, all from Manchester, were working in the centre of the Australian city when they heard commotion on the street and ran out to help. 

 "You don't think, you just kind of react really, it was surreal, very, very surreal," said Mr Cuthbert.

A woman is taken to hospital from Hotel CBD in Sydney Credit: AAP Image

"We just tried to get down as quick as we could.  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," added Mr Roberts.

Dramatic video footage shows a man jump onto the roof of a car brandishing a knife as an onlooker confronts him with a wicker chair.  

He appears to shout "Allahu Akbar" and "shoot me, f---ing shoot me in the f---ing head, shoot me, I want to f---ing die”.

Police gather at the crime scene after a man stabbed a woman and attempted to stab others in central Sydney Credit: AFP

The ma, was eventually tackled and pinned down with a cafe chair and a milk crate.  

Police said the “terrifying carnage” did not appear to be terror related and that the suspect acted alone. 

However, a senior officer said a thumbdrive linked to the offender contained details of white supremacist massacres in the US and New Zealand. 

 It was reported on Tuesday that he had escaped from a mental health facility and the authorities have confirmed he had a history of psychiatric problems.

Screengrab from a video issued by 7 News of a man being tackled with a milk crate and chairs by members of the public in Sydney Credit: PA

New South Wales (NSW) Police Superintendent Gavin Wood praised the actions of the trio from Manchester and other bystanders who restrained the alleged offender, calling them “heroes".  

“They were brave and I can only use that word seriously — they were significantly brave people,” he said. 

Paul O'Shaugnessy, 37, is a former professional football player with Bury FC. 

Speaking on an official trip to London, the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said her thoughts and prayers were the victims of this attack.  

“I also want to acknowledge the very brave passersby who obviously tried to intervene and our thoughts are with the victims and everyone who witnessed this horrific incident,” she said.

The injured woman, 41, who was stabbed in the back in a "random attack", remains in a stable condition in Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital.  The motivation for the rampage is not yet known. 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted that the "violent attack" was "deeply concerning".