Loading articles...

London police shoot suspect dead after ‘terrorist’ stabbings

Last Updated Nov 29, 2019 at 9:58 am PST

Armed police at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London following a police incident, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. British police said Friday they were dealing with an incident on London Bridge, and witnesses have reported hearing gunshots. The Metropolitan Police force tweeted that officers were “in the early stages of dealing with an incident at London Bridge.” (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)
Summary

British police say several people have stabbed near London Bridge

One person has been detained in connection with the stabbings, police say

It's unclear how badly people have been hurt, or what the motive behind the stabbings was

LONDON — Police shot dead a man suspected of stabbing several people near London Bridge on Friday in what detectives declared a terrorist incident.

The Metropolitan Police said “a number” of people were wounded but gave no information on the number or their conditions.

The force’s counterterrorism chief, Neil Basu, said the suspect was feared to be wearing a bomb vest but it turned out to be “a hoax explosive device.”

Basu said officers were keeping “an open mind as to any motive.”

The violence erupted two-and-a-half years after a van and knife attack in the same area in which eight people died.

Police said the incident began with reports of a stabbing at a “premises” near the bridge; it ended with passersby tackling the fleeing knifeman before he was shot dead by armed-response officers.

The police force said officers were called just before 2 p.m. “to a stabbing at premises near to London Bridge,” which links the city’s business district with the south bank of the River Thames.

Scores of police, some armed with submachine guns, rushed to the scene, ushering bemused office workers and tourists out of an area packed with office buildings, banks, restaurants and bars. Staff in office blocks in the area were told to stay inside.

Witnesses reported seeing what appeared to be fighting on the bridge, as several people attempted to hold a man down.

One video posted on social media showed two men struggling on the bridge before police pulled a man in civilian clothes off a black-clad man on the ground. Shots then rang out.

Other images showed police, guns drawn, pointing at a figure on the ground in the distance.

Amanda Hunter said she was on a bus crossing the bridge when she heard shots.

″(The bus) all of a sudden stopped and there was commotion and I looked out the window and I just saw these three police officers going over to a man,” she told the BBC.

“It seemed like there was something in his hand, I’m not 100% sure, but then one of the police officers shot him.”

Karen Bosch, who was also on a bus, said she saw police “wrestling with one tall, bearded man” and then heard “gunshots, two loud pops.”

She said the man “pulled his coat back which showed that he had some sort of vest underneath, whether it’s a stab vest, or some sort of explosive vest, the police then really quickly moved backwards, away.”

Cars and buses on the busy bridge were at a standstill after the shooting, with a white truck stopped diagonally across the lanes. Video footage showed police pointing guns at the truck before moving to check its container.