Sydney knife attack: Ex-Bury footballer becomes citizen arrest hero in Australia

Paul O’Shaughnessy and his brother Luke are being lauded for their disarming of a man who allegedly killed one person and hospitalised another

Former Bury footballer Paul O'Shaughnessy and his brother Luke have been hailed as heroes after helping to bring down a knife-wielding attacker in Sydney.

Local police have confirmed that a 21-year-old woman was killed on Tuesday afternoon and a 41-year-old woman was hospitalised with stab wounds when an unidentified man started attacking people in Australia's biggest city.

Police and ambulance services were quick to respond on Tuesday afternoon, but members of the public had already taken matters into their own hands.

O’Shaughnessy, who once turned out for struggling League One outfit Bury, was among those to approach the man in question and subdue the blood-covered attacker.

The 37-year-old told The Guardian that "extremist" slogans had been shouted before adding on the distressing incident: "We just finished lunch... we’re just based on King Street and we have a window slightly open so we can hear noise and traffic.

"And we heard a lot of shouting which was now obviously the attacker, and my brother opened the window even more and he said, 'mate, there’s a guy wielding a knife'.

"Our immediate reaction was, right, let’s go and help, if he’s wielding a knife. So we went down the escalator, ran out, and you could see all the public on this side of the road and we were like, 'Where is he?'

"Could see a little bit of blood so we knew he’d done something with that knife, so we just ran after him basically and people were shouting, 'He’s down that way'.

"In our heads we were saying to each other, ‘Be careful, be careful,’ and we were asking witnesses, we were saying, 'What has he got, is there anything else?' 'Nah, it’s just a knife' - so that made us press forward even more because you can tackle someone if it’s like that, not if he’s got a gun or whatever.

"So we went straight over, we got him near a cafe down near George Street. There was one guy already tussling and we just kind of like... everyone just jumped on the guy."

The attacker was eventually contained with cafe chairs and milk crates, with O’Shaughnessy adding: "He had blood on his hands and he was shouting radical things which I don’t want - I don’t think the world needs to see that kind of divide because, for me being a religious guy, I don’t think that is religion in any way from what I know of all the different religions.

"I’ve always been that type of guy that I’ll analyse it a bit and see the risk but we’re also raised by good parents who were like, 'Help people', and that’s what we do. We have jobs where we help people and, without sounding heroic, helping people is the primary driver and then afterwards you’re like, 'Holy, what have we just done there, that was a dangerous thing to do'.

"But honestly it just didn’t enter into my head and I know definitely with Luke because Luke was straight in there and I just analysed the situation and, you know, as a brother he was my major concern. I was like, 'Luke, be careful, be careful'. He was just on him and that was it then."

Sydney police subsequently asked people to avoid the area and said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the attacks.