In the bigger picture, it was not massive loss of life, not a terrorist attack, but it was nasty day today in Melbourne when someone ran amok in a motorcar and deliberately mowed down people in a car free city mall. Three were killed and many injured, as the car driver did not steer down the centre of the road on the tram tracks where it would have been quite clear, but along the side of the mall where people walked. Many had time to dodge or run into shopfronts, but some did not.
I was in town yesterday, my day off, on my own as it was Mother Day for R. I brunched in Centre Place and wandered about town for a bit before setting off by tram and train to Malvern to see a friend in hospital. It was about 22 degrees, the sun was shining and the sky was blue, and a cool breeze was gently blowing. There were hoards of people setting off for the Australian Open tennis. There was a sense of joie de vivre in the air. Everyone seemed happy, including myself, who does at times moan on about what is wrong with our city, but I felt quite good about it yesterday.
I crossed Bourke Street Mall yesterday, where the awful crime occurred today. People being in the wrong place at the wrong time when a crime is committed always troubles me, but what happened today in one of the safest and cheeriest streets in the whole world does an awful lot more than just trouble me.
From what I have learnt about the alleged perpetrator, he has a long criminal history in spite of not being very old and I suspect the question will soon arise, well why wasn't he in gaol? Indeed, why wasn't he in gaol or at least detained?
My sympathy goes out to those who are bereaved and those injured. This just should not have happened in olde Melbourne Town.