Family speaks: ‘He’s not a terrorist’
The family of the Bourke St attacker say he was delusional and not a terrorist.
Hassan Khalif Shire Ali's relatives have been too distraught to speak but in a handwritten letter have said the 30-year-old was "crying for help" because he was mentally ill.
"He has seen a psychologist and psychiatrist but stopped as his paranoia and hallucinations led him to believe they're 'after him'," his sister wrote in a letter to Nine News.
"Please stop turning this into a political game. This isn't a guy who has any connections with terrorism but was simply crying for help."
Relatives who visited the family home on Sunday to pay their respects said Shire Ali had deteriorated in recent months.
They said he had suffered for years and refused help.
Other friends said he had been in contact with family, including his wife and two-year-old boy, before the incident.
Nine News reported Shire Ali's wife raced to the Royal Melbourne Hospital when she heard her husband had been shot.
The family is yet to set a funeral date and has not been in contact with police since raids were conducted on homes on Saturday morning.
Friend of the family Imam Isse Musse said Shire Ali had been telling people someone was chasing him with spears.
Community leaders condemned the violence and said mental health could not be an excuse because the planning of Friday's event showed it was premeditated.