Police initially responded to reports of a auto on fire at the corner of Bourke and Swanston streets. Bystanders jumped into the fray, one wielding a chair, another a shopping trolley, before the assailant was finally neutralised.
A handful of videos and images uploaded to social media appear to show the man attempting to stab police before he is shot. See the videos below.
But as the attacks continued unabated, before one officer opted for lethal force, shooting the suspect in the chest. He's been transported to hospital under police guard.
Ashton added that Counter Terrorism Command will investigate alongside Victoria police.
Superintendent David Clayton confirmed the suspect had stabbed three other people before attacking police.
The two surviving victims are being treated in hosptial. Their conditions weren't made known.
Police are treating the incident as a terror attack.
Police are not looking for anyone else in relation to the events.
Officers were initially called to reports of a auto fire near Bourke Street, a busy thoroughfare, at about 16:20 local time (05:20 GMT).
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Police warned people to avoid the area and dispatched the bomb squad to secure the area and examine the burning vehicle.
No further information was available at the time of writing.
Police are telling all members of the public to avoid the CBD, although dozens of witnesses are being interviewed by officers at the scene.
A policeman stands near a body covered with a sheet near the Bourke Street mall in central Melbourne, Australia, Nov. 9, 2018, after a stabbing attack. What is this insanity?
A auto was seen burning on the northern strip of Bourke Street near the Target store, and a man was shot by police after an alleged stabbing, according to the Age.
Melbourne resident Meegan May tweeted: "Chaos in Bourkest as a guy seems to have set his auto on fire then attacking police with a knife".
The officers ultimately fired a shot, causing the man to fall down.
Streets were closed and trams halted while police attend the scene.
Some public transport in the area has also been suspended.
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