Australia police say they shot man who made stabbing gesture

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An explosion is heard on Bourke Street at 4:10pm.

As flames engulfed the vehicle, the man attacked them and they shot him in the struggle, he said.

They park their police auto just behind the burning ute and are immediately attacked.

The two others, aged 26 and 58, were in hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

"Nearby police quickly responded to the (initial) incident", he said.

At a press conference, a police spokesperson said there are no links to terrorism at this stage.

The two survivors were taken to hospital - one in a suspected critical condition.

The man then follows the attacker as he continues down the street with police around him, once again pushing his trolley towards the group.

The officers were seen trying for at least a minute to detain the man peaceably as his attacks on them continued, before one office shot him with a weapon.

The message over the loudspeakers says: "This is Victoria Police, please evacuate the area".

Images from the scene show a large white sheet covering a section of the road near what appears to be blood.

"From what we know of that individual we are treating this as a terrorism incident", Ashton told reporters, adding that the police counterterrorism command was working on the case, as well as homicide detectives.

'Me and the managers ran out and that's when we saw the vehicle on fire and then we saw the guy on the floor and we wanted to help, there were two blokes helping him out already, he was face down pools of blood around his face, ' he told AAP.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews led the online praise of the officers and the passers-by who "came to the aid of complete strangers".

Fully engulfed. Multiple loud bangs."This incident in Bourke Street comes on the second day of the highly-publicised murder trial of James Gargasoulas, who allegedly drove through Bourke Street Mall on January 20, 2017, killing six people and injuring 27 others".

Warning sirens sounded after the attack and police sealed off the downtown area, usually busy with shoppers and diners on a Friday evening.

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