The firefighters who helped tackle the alleged Sydney stabber last week say they don’t feel like heroes.
The four members of the Fire and Rescue NSW crew from Drummoyne Fire Station revealed how they stumbled upon the unfolding horror in the city last Tuesday and sprang into action.
They were on their way back from two minor calls in the city when they saw alleged suspect, Mert Ney.
He was wielding a large knife near York Street and Clarence Street after he allegedly stabbed and killed Michaela Dunn at a nearby apartment, and also allegedly stabbed a 41-year-old woman in the back at the CBD Hotel.
“There was just a sea of people running for their lives,” said Senior Firefighter, Mitch Bennetts, who was driving the fire truck.
“I saw the man, he was wearing a mask, he was covered in blood, he had a big knife.”
After pumping his horn in an effort to stop the man Ney, Mr Bennetts parked, and along with a colleague, ran to the back of the truck and grabbed an axe.
It was then the alleged attacker Ney became aware of him, he said.
“He was up on the car. He looked at me, we made eye contact. He asked me to shoot him,” he said.
The pair then chased the suspect, along with a throng of public.
“We didn’t think, we just did,” he said.
“We were just trying to protect all the people he was running towards,” he said.
Colleague, leading firefighter, Gonzalo Herrera said the aim was to distract the alleged attacker Ney.
“We just went trying to get his attention, trying to distract him from what appeared to be a serious assault on people,” he said.
“He had a few attempts at the members of the public.”
“We just wanted to help people.”
Using a chair he’d grabbed, he helped hold down the suspect until police arrived.
He said it was an emotional ordeal.
“Afterwards- I just wanted to cry, and call my wife,” he said.
Station Officer Mike Stuart and Senior Firefighter Bennett Gardiner were also involved.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who was overseas when the attack happened, called it “horrific” and said she was proud of the fire officers.
“These brave firefighters do all of us proud,” she said.
“Their training and their sheer bravery kicked in and prevented further injury, prevented further death.”
Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott, called the men “superheroes” and said they put themselves last.
He called Mr Bennett a “double superhero” revealing he’s a former Australian Defence Force Veteran who served in Iraq.
“You are one very special man and I’m very proud of you,” he said.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Jeff Loy, said: “They always run to danger but what they did that day was see danger that was not in their charter.
“They prevented lives being taken by this person last week.”