• The incident unfolded at the family's Mill Park home Thursday night
  • 'They were crying and calling for someone to help,' says one neighbor
  • The woman died at the scene while one of her daughters passed away in the hospital

A woman and her 6-year-old daughter were allegedly stabbed to death by her husband in Australia. The couple’s 10-year-old daughter managed to escape from the scene without physical injuries.

The horrific attack took place at the family’s Mill Park home in the northeast of Melbourne, Victoria, on Thursday night. Prabhal Sharma, a 40-year-old taxi driver, allegedly stabbed his wife, Poonam Sharma, 39, and their daughter, Vanessa, with a knife. Investigators said a bleeding and critically-injured Poonam ran to her neighbor’s house after the attack and begged for help while Prabhal chased after her, according to

First responders arrived at the scene and confronted Prabhal, who was armed with the knife.

“They engaged with that male and as a result, that male proceeded to injure himself and police had to take affirmative action and take him into custody,” homicide squad Detective Inspector Dean Thomas said.

Prabhal was taken to the hospital and will be interrogated after medical clearance, officers said.

Poonam died at the scene while Vanessa was found critically injured inside the couple’s house. She was taken to the hospital but passed away Friday morning.

Inspector Thomas said the couple’s 10-year-old daughter, Angela, escaped as the horror unfolded and experienced an “absolutely terrible, traumatic incident.”

“She’s been through a terrible, terrible incident, so we want to make sure she’s as good as you can be,” the inspector added.

Poonam, who worked as a dental nurse, was described as a “good mum who had done everything for her kids,” a person close to the family told The Age.

Neighbor Abdul Husseini told the publication that he was at a nearby park when his wife raised the alarm about Poonam screaming for help.

“They were crying and calling for someone to help – there was no one on the street. The woman came out covered in blood,” Husseini said, adding: “My wife is a bit scared now after seeing everything.”

Another neighbor, identified only as Jessie, said she lived in the area for about three decades and always felt safe until Poonam and her daughter's deaths.

“I think it’s important to remember the ones that were taken too early, especially a little girl,” she said. “It’s a quiet street where everyone is just more than happy to help out. It’s really sad. They are difficult times as they are and this just kind of makes it worse.”

Calling it an "absolutely devastating incident," Women’s Safety Minister Anne Ruston said: "My thoughts are with the young girl who has tragically lost her mum and little sister as well as the family and friends of this Melbourne family. As a country, we cannot continue to read these headlines, we must act."

"We must all work together to prevent and intervene when we see violence as well as address the systemic issues within our society that drive gendered violence,” she added.

Representative image Credit: Pixabay