Neighbour ruled hero after being attacked with machete
A man has been ruled a hero after he leaped to the aid of his neighbour when three armed men stormed her home in Melbourne’s south-east.
Russell Irwin, a father-of-three jumped his fence when he heard his neighbour let out a piercing scream on Tuesday night outside of her Lindenow Court home in Cranbourne North.
A group of men stormed the house armed with an axe, machete and gun.
They would go on to strike the "extremely brave" 41-year-old, and break his skull.
The neighbour was roasting marshmallows in his backyard with his kids when the commotion started.
They stabbed him repeatedly before striking his head with an axe.
"It could've killed him ... left three kids without a dad ... us without an uncle ... it's disgusting," Ms Irwin said.
Mr Irwin’s children and father-in-law were just metres away, and called for help when they realised his attackers had escaped.
"I honestly think if it wasn't for him she probably wouldn't be around," Mr Irwin's niece Naomi said.
Detective Senior Constable Alex Fiore spoke on the horrific incident, saying: "An innocent man was just in the backyard with his family and has come to the aid of a neighbour, and unfortunately been attacked himself.
"The victim is extremely brave.
"I know the occupants of this address are very grateful for his involvement," he said.
Detective Senior Constable Fiore said detectives are trying to establish if the victims of the home invasion knew the offenders.
"Police are investigating whether the home invasion was targeted or an isolated incident," he said.
"We think there may be a relationship but we're not sure."
Witnesses told 9News the group were demanding money but fled when it became clear they were not getting any.
Two out of the three intruders ran towards Lawless Drive, however the third went through a neighbour’s backyard and dropped the machete used on Mr Irwin.
Good Samaritans chased the young Caucasian man and police say they are investigating whether he escaped in a blue Mitsubishi or a silver SUV.
Neighbour Jeff Disney revealed that he confronted one of the offenders and claims they told him they were only there for one reason.
"He assured me he was there to get what he wanted and wasn't there for anyone else," he said.
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