Police have charged Saeed Noori, the man accused of ploughing a car into pedestrians in central Melbourne on Thursday, with 18 counts of attempted murder and one count of conduct endangering life.
Mr Noori is expected to face Melbourne Magistrates Court this afternoon.
“The 32-year-old Heidelberg West man has been charged and will appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court shortly,” police said in a statement.
He was interviewed at Melbourne West Police Station on Saturday after being discharged from hospital on Friday.
It comes as more of the victims of the attack return home from hospital in time for Christmas. But several others are still fighting for their lives.
Twelve people remain in hospital
Speaking at the MCG on Saturday morning to announce security plans for upcoming major events such as Carols by Candlelight and the Boxing Day Test, Premier Daniel Andrews said three people remained in a critical condition as a result of the attack.
“I can confirm there are 12 people in Victorian hospitals as a result of the terrible incident at Flinders Street,” the premier said.
“The good news there is that, steadily, people are going home having received the care that they need, we had a top I think of 20 people that were in our hospitals, we’re now down to 12.”
“Those three that are in critical conditions though are still a real cause of concern and I’m sure all Victorians would join me with me in sending our best wishes to them and their families.”
A spokesperson from the South Korean Consulate has confirmed that three of those injured are members of a South Korean family in Melbourne to visit a relative.
Two of the group, both men aged 61 and 67, remains in a critical condition.
An 83-year-old man from Northcote, in Melbourne’s north, is also critical.
A four-year-old South Korean boy, who is also part of the family group, was in a stable condition.
Nine of those injured in the incident are foreign nationals, from countries including Venezuela, India, China, Italy and Ireland.
Premier visits hero policeman
The off-duty sergeant who restrained the driver at the scene underwent surgery for his hand on Friday.
The officer, who is well known in police ranks, was visited on Saturday morning by Victoria Police acting Chief Commissioner Shane Patton and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
Sixteen of the officers who responded were on the first day out of academy. Another 10 were first responders to the Bourke Street attack.
It’s also understood the homicide investigators who have carriage of the Flinders Street investigation were also involved in the Bourke Street case.
While the motive for the attack is not believed to be terror-related, security has been increased across the city following Thursday’s incident.
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said a strongly increased police presence at events across the festive season would not place a strain on police resources.
“Victoria Police have the resources and resolve to do everything that needs to be done to keep the community safe,” he said.
Assistant Commissioner Leane said police had spent months planning security for upcoming major events..
Mr Andrews said the build-up of police resources was part of a long term plan.
“We are recruiting more police than we have ever had in our state’s history,which means we have more resources to deal with contemporary threats.”
Delays are expected at all public events over the Christmas period and Mr Andrews asked the public to plan ahead and be patient.
Asked if the Victorian Government increased security for hospitals or provided funding for additional mental health beds over the holiday period, Mr Andrews said: “Hospital security arrangements are a matter for individual hospitals.”