Massacre in Hoddle Street

Title:
Massacre in Hoddle Street
NFSA ID:
48637
Year:
1987
Courtesy:
Nine Network
Category:
Access fees

Nine News Melbourne reporter Paul Murphy describes the events now known as the 'Hoddle Street Massacre'.

On 9 August 1987, in the Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill, a 19-year-old man carrying three guns, including a semi-automatic rifle, went on a horrifying shooting spree that lasted 45 minutes, firing at cars and pedestrians along Hoddle Street. Police were on the scene within minutes of the first shots being reported. However, seven people were killed and 19 others were wounded before the man surrendered to police. 

This news footage takes place very soon after the attacks and includes interviews with witnesses who appear to be still in a state of shock over the events. 

The reporting conveys the sense of chaos that was playing out on the scene, with vision of police vehicles, ambulances, a police helicopter overhead and audio from D24 police operator tapes. Stunned onlookers and people with minor wounds can also be seen in the streets.

The gunman, Julian Knight, was a former Australian Army cadet who had been discharged months earlier for stabbing an Army officer in a Canberra nightclub. He was charged with assault and released on bail and ordered to appear in court in November. The charges prevented Knight from pursuing a career in the armed services which, reportedly, had long been his dream. This event, compounded by personal and financial problems, is thought to have been a trigger for the events of 9 August.