“You’re with everyone in heaven now.”
Mr Polden’s bravery sparked praise from Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton after it was revealed the injured man staggered to a tram stop and dialled triple zero for help.
“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,” Mr Ashton said. “I think it’s a tremendously brave act.”
Police said killer Mohammed Ibrahim, a 34-year-old from Roxburgh Park, is believed to have begun his crime spree at Jolimont train station where he asked a Protective Services Officer for directions before slashing his face and arm, about 11pm on Wednesday.
Armed with two kitchen knives and a switchblade, Ibrahim then fled through Yarra Park before reaching Coppin Grove in Hawthorn.
There, he fatally stabbed a 30-year-old woman and seriously injured her 31-year-old friend who is now recovering in hospital.
While neighbours ran to help the two women, Ibrahim made his way to Kew where he attacked Mr Polden about 12.15am. The injured man died later in hospital.
Minutes later Critical Incident Response Team officers found Ibrahim walking on nearby Walpole Street. There, he was shot dead.
Police said Ibrahim’s motive remained unclear but he’d previously told police he believed ISIS operatives were following him.
Louise Polden said her brother, who was one of eight siblings, was her “hero, protector and buffer against the world”.
“I don’t know how I’m gonna do life without you,” she said.
Mr Polden’s younger sister Linda Polden said there were no words to express how she was feeling.
“Your life was taken so cruelly, you were my rock at times when needed. In mum and dad’s arms now.”
Mr Polden’s older sister Lynne Pickering wrote: “Chris my little brother. You went through so much. I can’t comprehend that this has happened. Wrong place wrong time. You did not deserve this. You were so brave, using your last few moments to ring the police to try and save other lives. Will always love and miss you. Your big sis Lynne.”
Police are still trying to piece together the attack.
Mr Ashton said Victoria Police’s Counter-Terrorism Command had combed through their intel and had not found any links to terrorism.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at crimestoppersvic.com.au.
Erin covers crime for The Age. Most recently she was a police reporter at the Geelong Advertiser.