Man arrested after attacking 'a number of people' at Australian National University

A man has been taken into police custody after attacking four students at the Australian National University in Canberra with a baseball bat

A man has been taken into police custody after attacking four students at the Australian National University in Canberra with a baseball bat

But Max Claessens, a mate of an 18-year-old student told that his friends said that the attacker pulled a cricket or baseball bat out of a bag post that they started hitting other students.

"'They appear to be defensive injuries, we believe to have a couple of broken bones, a broken arm, but I'm not sure who has got what injuries", Det Supt Cartwright said.

Police Detective Superintendent Ben Cartwright praised the "incredible bravery on behalf of those students to protect the lecturer".

The victims, three women and a man, were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

The girl, majoring commerce, said most students in the 20 plus class are Chinese students of the School of Commerce.

"He put up a fight, obviously, when he had the baseball bat but once it was taken off him the students were able to restrain him and campus security were able to restrain him until police arrived", Detective Cartwright said.

According to Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Police, the 18-year-old offender was not known to police or intelligence agencies, while "lone wolf" terrorism has been ruled out as a motive.

The university said there is no indication of what motivated the attack. The ANU spokesperson said there was no ongoing threat to public safety.

He has not yet been charged over the attack and police have not released his name.

"One of the students just randomly, out of the blue, got up with a bat, struck out at two or three students, before apparently going for the teacher".

"The university's first priority is the welfare of our staff and students, counselling services are being provided to all those affected", an ANU spokesperson said. "Nothing seemed odd about him", he said. "I didn't expect something like this to happen".

The university's Deputy Vice Chancelor, Marni Hughes-Warrington, lauded the students who defended their lecturer. The ABC reported the incident may have been a "random" attack.

"We're a small community, we know one another, we really care for one another. This is a very unusual thing".