Man stabs three in Melbourne, shot by cops

Police and Emergency services at the scene at Bourke St mall Melbourne Friday Jan. 20 2017

HUNDREDS of police have swooped on Bourke Street in Melbourne's CBD after a vehicle reportedly burst into flames and a man began attacking police with a knife.

Witnesses then described that the police attempted to disarm the man with the help of two witnesses as the suspect kept lunging at them.

"Three people have been stabbed, unfortunately one of them is deceased at the scene", David Clayton, police superintendent of Victoria state, told reporters.

The man stabbed three people, killing one, before he was shot by police.

Police told people to stay away from the area.

Commissioner Ashton said the man was known to police and the federal intelligence agencies.

The police officers are being treated for cuts and scrapes and are not thought to be in a serious condition.

A second person suffered a head injury and has been taken to hospital.

A man can be seen approaching two police officers with what appears to be a knife and attempts to stab them.

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Counter-terrorism police and intelligence officers are still piecing together how the incident occurred, but it is known the attacker drove a 4x4 truck loaded with gas bottles into the bustling city centre at around 4:00PM (0500 GMT) on Friday evening.

Witnesses say they saw the man drive a truck into the Target centre and as the vehicle caught fire he tried to fight and stab police and bystanders.

In December 2014, a 17-hour siege in which a gunman took 18 people hostage in a Sydney cafe ended with two hostages dead and the gunman killed by police.

Witnesses said they heard a big bang and images appeared to show a auto on fire.

The suspect, who wasn't immediately identified, was shot by police and later died at a hospital.

Police are telling all members of the public to avoid the CBD, although dozens of witnesses are being interviewed by officers at the scene. One of the victims also died and the two others were hospitalized.

Mr Clayton said investigators did not believe there were any other assailants.

"This is an evil and terrifying thing that happened in our city and state today, and we condemn it", he said.

One witness, Sarah Krug said she was heading to the night noddle markets when "all hell broke loose".

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