Man accused of taking weapons to Bourke Street in Melbourne’s CBD charged with drug and firearms

A 23-year-old man from North Melbourne who, according to police, carried a gun in Melbourne’s CBD, has been charged with 17 offenses, including reckless conduct that endangers life.

Police were called to the foyer of a building near the corner of Bourke and Swanston streets around 11 a.m. Friday, after reports that a man had been seen with a firearm.

Shoppers in the Bourke Street mall on Friday night after many large retailers reopened after a three-month lockdown.

Shoppers in the Bourke Street mall on Friday night after many large retailers reopened after a three-month lockdown. Credit:Luis Ascui

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said officers, including members of the critical incident response team, responded to the report in less than two minutes and arrested a man without incident. No one was injured.

The 23-year-old has been charged with 17 drug and firearm offenses, including unauthorized possession of a firearm, use of a firearm in a dangerous manner, reckless conduct with danger to life and possession of cannabis.

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Detectives from the Melbourne Crime Investigation Unit carried out a search warrant on property in Villiers Street, North Melbourne at 7.15pm on Friday night, seizing drugs, cash, ammunition and an imitation pistol.

The 23-year-old was remanded in custody and is expected to appear in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.

The man was arrested just a few meters from where a premeditated terrorist stabbing took place in 2018. Cafe owner Sisto Malaspina, 74, was killed and a security guard injured in that attack.

Friday’s arrest came just hours before non-essential retail outlets in Melbourne were allowed to reopen indoors for the first time in three months following the easing of coronavirus restrictions across the state.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000

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