A policewoman pointed her gun at the Bourke Street driver, fearing he may drive at her, in the hours before his 2017 CBD rampage.
Senior Constable Lauren Fuller from the critical incident response unit was part of the team tasked with arresting James Gargasoulas on the morning of January 20, 2017.
Police had been trailing him for hours after the offender, who was on bail and in a stolen car, stabbed his brother and left him critically hurt.
Gargasoulas became blocked in traffic, about to head onto the West Gate Freeway, when other officers involved in the chase jumped from their vehicle and ran towards his car.
Sen Const Fuller says she also exited her vehicle and saw him speed off in a gap between the traffic, his tyres screeching.
"I was in fear of what he was going to do with the vehicle. I wasn't sure what he was going to do, and whether he was going to drive at me," she said in a statement, provided at the inquest into the tragedy.
"I drew my firearm and pointed it towards him. I issued the police challenge yelling, 'Police, don't move'."
He tried to cover his face, but she already recognised him as Gargasoulas as he fled past.
"I remember being amazed that he got through the other cars without having caused a collision," she said.
As the chase continued into the city later that day, Sen Const Fuller described seeing pedestrians scatter out of the offender's path as he accelerated onto footpaths.
"I remember looking out the window onto the Bourke Street footpath and seeing people lying on the floor like they weren't moving. That's when I knew for sure he had hit them and we had to stop him," she said.
"I remember seeing blood. It was just getting a lot worse.
"I remember seeing bodies lying everywhere."
Six people died and 27 were injured in the incident.
Gargasoulas was eventually tasered and shot by police.
His victims included three-month-old Zachary Bryant and 10-year-old Thalia Hakin along with Jess Mudie, 22, Yosuke Kanno, 25, Matthew Si, 33, and Bhavita Patel, 33.
Gargasoulas, who suffers paranoid schizophrenia, was jailed in February for at least 46 years.
The inquest before coroner Jacqui Hawkins continues on Monday.
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Australian Associated Press