HIV activist murdered in stabbing rampage used his dying moments to describe his attacker
Chris Polden, a “hero” HIV activist who was killed in a stabbing rampage in Australia last week, used his final moments to alert police to the attacker.
Polden, 59, was one of two people murdered when 34-year-old Mohammed Ibrahim went on a stabbing spree with two kitchen knives and a switchblade on March 11 in Melbourne.
He was mortally wounded but managed to summon the strength to stagger to a tram stop, where he called the police and gave a description of the attacker. This helped them apprehend the man, who was shot dead when they arrived on the scene.
Polden’s heroic actions were later praised by the chief commissioner of police, Graham Ashton.
“He made the call because obviously he is worried about the community more than himself. He is worried about what else this guy is going to do. I think it’s a tremendously brave act,” The Age quoted him saying.
Tributes are now pouring in for Chris Polden after his life was so cruelly cut short.
He was an early board member of the AIDS Housing Action Group and an “activist and supporter of the HIV positive community right up to his untimely death”, Thorne Harbour Health said in a statement on social media.
He bravely and heroically considered the needs of others instead of his own.
“The selflessness and concern that Chris showed as he lay dying was characteristic of the man who was an active member of his community, contributing to the health and wellbeing of others. In a community that can sometimes be divisive, Chris was well respected and liked by his peers.”
Simon Ruth, the CEO of Thorne Harbour Health also paid tribute to Polden’s legacy.
“Chris was such a brilliant example of those in our community who regularly contribute above and beyond expectations,” she said.
“It is clear by the events of that fateful night that he bravely and heroically considered the needs of others instead of his own. His is a serious loss to our community and he will be missed.
A 30-year-old woman was also killed in the attack while a 31-year-old woman is currently fighting for her life in hospital. A protective services officer received non-critical wounds to the arm and face.