ACT Police charge man with attempted murder


ACT Police charge man with attempted murder

Australian Federal Police Association president Alex Caruana said the community deserved a response from ACT Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury, given the significance of the incident.

“Two victims are in a hospital, one [was] in critical condition. It’s pure luck that they aren’t dead, and this is something that can’t be glossed over,” Caruana said. Rattenbury’s office has been approached for comment.

Ophel appeared in ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning, wearing a grey tracksuit and white thongs, before he was remanded in custody to reappear on October 17. He will undergo a mental health assessment, and an application for a forensic procedure has been deferred.

Lawyer Tim Sharman, who is not formally representing Ophel, initially said he needed more time to obtain instructions from the accused man to clarify whether he could understand the situation, referring to a previous legal ruling concerning Ophel.

When the matter reappeared an hour later, Sharman said Ophel understood he would be remanded. No application for bail was made.


Ophel allegedly hit a male student on the head with a frying pan at about 2.40pm at the university campus, prompting the student to run from the scene.

Police allege he then stabbed a female student multiple times before chasing a second young woman and stabbing her. The man then allegedly approached a second male student and punched him in the face.

Leonard said both men were attacked with the frying pan, and couldn’t confirm what kind of knife was used.

Ophel was arrested at the scene after witnesses pointed police to his whereabouts. As well as two counts of attempted murder, he is also charged with two counts of assault and one of possessing a knife with the intent to use it to kill.

Police say they are yet to identify a motive for the alleged attack and they do not believe the victims knew the offender.

“The man’s movements and how he came to be at ANU are currently the subject of a police investigation,” Leonard said, praising both the “significant” police response and the number of witnesses who had come forward following the incident, some of whom had provided footage to investigators.

Investigators are urging anyone who witnessed the incident or has footage of the incident (and they have not already spoken to police) to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via referencing P2193413.

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