An armed man has been arrested after stabbing a woman in central Sydney and being detained on the street by members of the public.
A second woman was found dead inside an apartment building on the same street.
“All the information we have at hand would link these two crimes,” police commissioner Mick Fuller said at a press conference.
He said the suspect was a “lone actor” with a history of mental health issues.
He was known to police but “his history was unremarkable compared to the gravity of the crimes he committed”, Mr Fuller said.
The police commissioner said the suspect had some ideologies related to terrorism, but had no apparent links to other terrorist organisations.
It is believed the man had a USB drive containing details of mass killings in New Zealand and the United States.
Mr Fuller said the stabbing is not currently being classed as a terrorist incident but this would be reassessed as the investigation continues.
Three “heroes” were praised by New South Wales Police Minister David Elliot for their role in detaining the man and acting “well and truly beyond the call of any citizen”. He also congratulated the firefighters involved.
The incident unfolded at about 14:00 local time (04:00 GMT) on Tuesday near Clarence St and King St, a busy area in the city centre.
Video footage shows the suspect jumping on a car wielding a knife, shouting “Allahu Akbar” and “shoot me”, as another man confronts him with a wicker chair.
Police said the suspect had stabbed a 41-year-old woman in the back before being restrained by three members of the public.
They “placed him essentially under arrest, even though he was branding a large butchers knife and was clearly dangerous”.
Emergency services arrived shortly after and following a wider investigation, the body of a 21-year-old woman was found nearby.
The injured woman was taken to hospital in a stable condition. Police said there was no ongoing threat.