The Hoddle Street massacre
is the name given to a mass murder that occurred on the evening of Sunday, August 9
in Hoddle Street
, Clifton Hill
, a suburb of Melbourne
. The shootings resulted in the deaths of 7 people, and serious injury to 19 others. After a police chase lasting more than 30 minutes, 19 year old former Australian Army officer-cadet Julian Knight
was caught in nearby Fitzroy North
and arrested for the shootings. Knight was later sentenced to life imprisonment
with a minimum non-parole period of 27 years for the bloodiest massacre in Australian history
since the Sydney Milperra massacre
in September 1984, where six men and a 17-year-old girl were killed. Knight couldn't receive a life sentence without parole because at the time Victoria did not have such a sentence; also, as he was between 18-21, he was classed as a young offender under Victorian law. This required for him to have a chance at rehabilitation.
Knight entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon
on January 13
, at the age of 18. Whilst a military career had long been a dream, he performed poorly at studies and gained good results only in weapons expertise exercises.
A night at the Private Bin nightclub in Canberra saw Knight involved in the stabbing of his sergeant and charged with assault, malicious wounding and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He was bailed to appear in court on June 12 but the case was subsequently adjourned to November 10. With his military career now all but over, it was suggested that Knight should resign.
Timeline of events
Below is a timeline of events which occurred on August 9, 1987 during the drama.
- 9.29pm - Knight leaves his mother's house armed with
- *a .22 calibre Ruger rifle,
- *a 12-gauge pump-action Mossberg shotgun and
- *a 7.62x51mm calibre M14 military rifle
- 9.30pm - Knight fires randomly at passersby using a Ruger rifle
- 9.35pm - Knight fires randomly at passersby using a Mossberg shotgun
- 9.37pm - First police unit arrives at the scene in Hoddle Street
- 9.39pm - Knight fires randomly at passersby using a M14 rifle
- 9.44pm - First ambulances arrive at the scene in Hoddle Street
- 9.45pm - Knight withdraws from the Hoddle Street scene
- 9.46pm - Knight fires 3 shots at police car "Northcote 253"
- 9.48pm - Police Helicopter "Air 495" arrives over Clifton Hill
- 9.59pm - Knight fires a shot at Constable Colin Chambers on the Northcote end of the Queens Parade/High Street bridge
- 10.05pm - Knight fires 3 shots at Police Helicopter "Air 495", forcing it to land on nearby Knott Reserve
- 10.13pm - Knight cornered in McKean Street, Fitzroy North
- 10.14pm - Knight surrenders and is arrested by police