Sydney stabbing: #Milkcrate meme praises actions of British brothers as internet mocks US attitudes to gun laws

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

The everyday items used by a pair of British brothers to detain a stabbing suspect in Sydney have been immortalised in a Twitter meme.

Luke and Paul O'Shaughnessy, from Bury in Greater Manchester, said they acted on instinct as they saw a man wielding a large blade running through the streets of the Australian city centre on Tuesday.

Racing down from their fourth-floor office, the brothers chased the attacker before tackling him to the ground and helping pin him down with a chair and milk crate.

The suspected Sydney attacker was pinned to the floor by a chair and a milk crate (Andrew Denney/7 News/PA)
British brother Luke O'Shaughnessy (left) and Paul O'Shaughnessy have been hailed as heroes by police for their actions (PA)

Now the hashtag #milkcrate has gone viral and praised the actions of the brothers while mocking US attitudes to gun laws at the same time.

After actor Russell Crowe tweeted “Make Australia crate again”, the rest of Twitter picked up on his pun of Donald Trump’s election-winning slogan - and highlighted how the O’Shaughnessy brothers did not need guns to stop an attacker:

Both brothers said they were "proud" of their actions, but denied they were heroes - despite police and the country's prime minister commending them for helping to tackle the suspect.

Paul, 37, a former midfielder with crisis-club Bury between 1999 and 2004, said: "I didn't even think about it.

"I just thought is my brother going to be OK as we ran towards him.”

He added: "Our values as brothers is we are protectors.”

The suspect in the attack was named as 21-year-old Mert Ney (Andrew Denney/7 News/PA)

New South Wales Police Superintendent Gavin Wood, speaking to reporters near the scene, praised the men who tackled the suspect, also said to have included Manchester man Lee Cuthbert.

Mr Wood said: "They are significantly brave people. They approach the person... with clear evidence of a stabbing previously. These people are heroes, and I want to acknowledge that.

"These members of the public going about their day-to-day business have jumped into a situation which was extremely dangerous, extremely hostile, and they have brought a person - who we will be alleging stabbed an innocent person for no specific reason - into custody and allowed us to do our job."

Screengrab of a man wielding a knife as he is approached by a member of the public with a chair (Andrew Denney/7 News/PA)

Police said the suspect in the attack - 21-year-old Mert Ney from Maryong in New South Wales - attempted to stab several people in the Australian city, at around 6.15am BST (3.15pm local time) before being arrested.

Michaela Dunn, 24, was found dead in a building nearby and police were investigating if the earlier stabbing at a hotel on the corner of Clarence and King streets was linked to the street attacks.

Police confirmed they were investigating allegations the suspect yelled "Allahu akbar", or "God is great", but are not treating it as a terror incident.

Police said a second woman in hospital was not in a life-threatening condition, while a third woman was said to have a minor injury to her hand.

---Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK---