On Friday afternoon, as many spent their afternoon shopping and walking through what is arguably Melbourne’s most iconic strip, a man drove erratically and aggressively through the CBD, deliberately ploughing through crowds of innocent civilians.
Four are dead, and another 15 are injured.
In a press conference on Friday afternoon, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the driver was a 26-year-old man known to police. He had, the Police Commissioner said, an “extensive family violence history” who has come to the attention of police “on many occasions in the past”.
“We have mental health and drug-related issues in the background of this particular person. He has been coming to our attention more recently over recent days in relation to assaults, family violence-related assaults. He was also charged by us over the course of last weekend,” Chief Commissioner Ashton said.
This is everything we know about the man accused of one of Melbourne’s most depraved acts.
The weeks before
A glance at the accused James 'Jimmy' Gargasoulas' Facebook page presents a worrying stream of statuses. Also named Dimitrious, the Greek version of the name James, in the weeks leading up to Friday's events, Gargasoulas posted what can be perceived as numerous ominous statuses.
On December 30, he wrote: "The next time you hear of a police officer being killed “in the line of duty,” take a moment to consider the very real possibility that maybe in that case, the “law enforcer” was the bad guy and the “cop killer” was the good guy. As it happens, that has been the case more often than not throughout human history.
F**k da [sic] police."
Weeks later, on January 14, he wrote: "I know exactly how to take you DOGS down the power of knowing has revealed and I shall have GODS laws re-instated."
And then, just days before he allegedly drove a stolen car through crowds of civilians, he wrote this on January 16: "I declare war on tyranny today you dogs will have the option to either believe in me and his positive energy he offers and stay faithful to me or serve the one who enslaves you at his feet I offer freedom no work no bulls just that we all keep faith and believe in the one god the one higher being for the good and protect the energy that he gives with your heart god bless everyone the world is about to change [sic] ."