The man dubbed by the internet as “Trolley man” for attempting to ram a supermarket trolley into Bourke Street mall attacker Hassan Khalif Shire Ali has been identified as 46-year-old Michael Rogers.
Mr Rogers, who is believed to be homeless, has been hailed as a hero after video footage showed him attempting to assist police as the attacker lunged at them with a knife in Friday’s attack.
It comes as tributes flow for iconic Italian restaurateur Sisto Malaspina who died in the attack, while two other victims remain in hospital.
There are calls on social media for Mr Rogers to receive a medal for his bravery, and a Go Fund Me page titled “Thank you Trolley man’ has been set up.
The page has so far raised more than $80,000 for Mr Rogers.
“We’ve since learned that our hero ‘Trolleyman’ homeless and that his phone was destroyed in the incident. We believe his efforts deserve a reward that can really help him out,” the page read.
“He’s a hero in our eyes and he can do what he feels best with any funds he receives. He risked his own life that day for nothing in return and you can’t put a price on that.”
Mr Rogers described how he acted instinctively.
“I’ve seen the trolley to the side, so I’ve picked it up and I’ve ran and threw the trolley straight at him – got him, but didn’t get him down,” Mr Rogers told 7 News.
“And I did that motion … quite a number of times but it just wasn’t getting him down.
“It was a spur of the moment thing.
“There was only two police officers arrived at the time, within seconds of the incident.
“The guy was out of control so I just went into action mode and tried to swipe him with the trolley.”
Seven News reporter Robert Ovadia said after he spoke to Mr Rogers, a Victoria police officer shook the homeless man’s hand and said thank you.
Somali-Australians on Saturday denounced Shire Ali’s actions, saying the “African-Australian community is shocked and deeply saddened” by Friday’s incident.
Bourke St attack: Tributes flow for business icon
Victoria Police Commissioner Graham Ashton on Saturday warned the public not to get involved in situations like the Bourke Street attack.
“Look, you just have to be a bit careful about — in that situation how close you do get — because he could have been injured himself,” Mr Ashton told Weekend Today.
“But certainly he was acting in the spur of the moment and looking to support the police.
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“There was a number of people that did that and we are always grateful when the community are supporting our police members.
“Again, we just to be careful in the way that we do that.”
Two other bystanders attempted to assist police during the incident, one wielding the base of a traffic cone and another using a chair.
Police arrive at the scene of the Bourke St attack’