Four Dead, Officer Stabbed In London “Terrorist” Attack Near Parliament [PHOTOS]
What is described as a “terrorist incident” took place in London Wednesday, leaving a police officer stabbed and at least one civilian dead.
“TERRORIST INCIDENT” IN WESTMINSTER IN LONDON
The coordinated attacks took place around Westminster in central London – in Parliament Square, within the Palace of Westminster grounds, and on Westminster Bridge. The assailant stabbed a police officer before being shot outside Parliament, while a car on the adjacent bridge plowed over five pedestrians, killing at least four.
Though deemed a terrorist attack by the Metropolitan Police, details of the events remain unclear. It is possible that there was one assailant who committed both acts.
Parliament was placed on lockdown and Prime Minister Theresa May was rushed into a vehicle and back to her office, where she was reported safe. “A full counterterrorism investigation is under way,” said Commander B.J. Harrington. He also reported that the police knew of “a number of casualties, including police officers, but at this stage we cannot confirm numbers or the nature of these injuries.”
Police were called to the bridge about 2:40 pm with reports of “a firearms incident.” Witnesses say they saw a middle-aged man holding a knife run into the grounds of Westminster Palace. “I saw a man on the ground being repeatedly stabbed, or pummeled,” said student Reuben Saunders, who was at the scene.
The man on the ground was a police officer, and a few other officers arrived and shot the assailant. “There were two or three gunshots,” Saunders recalled. Daily Telegraph reporter Christopher Hope tweeted at 2:41 pm, “Shots fired outside Parliament. Loud explosion then shooting. Man lying shot outside gates of Parliament. Gun shots outside, Frightening.”
Shots fired outside Parliament. Loud explosion then shooting. Man lying shot outside gates to Parliament. Gun shots outside, Frightening.
— Christopher Hope (@christopherhope) March 22, 2017
Close by, a car sped across the bike lane and into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, before smashing into the gates of Parliament. “I didn’t see the impact, I heard it, it sounded like a car hitting a sheet of metal,” described Radoslaw Sikorski, a former foreign minister of Poland, told The New York Times. “I saw these people lying on the tarmac, on the pavement. I saw five people down, one unconscious and one bleeding heavily from his head. He was not moving. The taxi driver rang the emergency services, and people rushed to help.”
One woman is confirmed dead and 10 others injured in the bridge attack. The stabbed officer was airlifted for medical attention. Conservative MP and former soldier Tobias Ellwood gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the office and attempted to halt the loss of blood until help came.
The full statement from Cmdr. Harrington of the Metropolitan Police on the incident can be read below. Officers are still active at the scene to gain more information about the attack.
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 22, 2017