A police officer has been stabbed by a middle-aged man of Asian origin across London Parliament in what is being treated as a terrorist attack. The Westminster Bridge incident has seen one woman get killed while a dozen of other members of public injured. The police officer is among the injured and St Thomas’ Hospital describes some of these injuries as catastrophic, reports BBC.
Witnesses say that the attacker drove through crowds of people as he made clear his intentions to bring them down. Luckily, many of them were able to flee while others got caught up in the confusion.
The man was eventually shot by the police but prior to that, he had crashed into railings and even hit the Palace of Westminster.
The Prime Minister Theresa May is said to be safe.
Most of the interviewed witnesses attest that they heard at least three gunshots with some stating that they saw the PM get ushered into a silver Jaguar car as the mixed-up occurrences took place. Deputy speaker of the Commons, David Lidington, suspended all the House of Commons proceedings and said that the “alleged assailant shot by armed police”.
The assailant had earlier on made attempts to crash groups of people but failed and turned his focus onto Westminster gates.
What do we know about the suspect?
As at the moment, very little has been released to the press regarding the attacker’s identity. The little that is known so far is that he is of an Asian origin. When his car was put to a stop, he left it and headed straight to the officer, stabbing him with a 7 to 8 inch knife. The injured officer immediately fell to the ground and could be seen growling in pain.
Security sources haven’t explained whether he acted on his own or there were other accomplices.
Andrew Woodcock, the Press Association political editor and a first-hand witness of the attack said that he was working as usual when he heard screams and shouts. When he looked through his window, since his office is just adjacent to London Parliament, he saw people fleeing as though they were escaping from something.
“As the group arrived at the Carriage Gates, where policemen are posted at the security entrance, a man suddenly ran out of the crowd and into the yard.”
About three gunshots were heard and within seconds, the scene was filled with police officers urging people to exit the yard.
Witness Rick Longley told The Independent that the attacker just passed him by the shoulder and went straight away to the police officer. He said the stabbing was like nothing he has ever seen before.
“We were just walking up to the station and there was a loud bang and a guy, someone, crashed a car and took some pedestrians out,” he said.
“They were just laying there and then the whole crowd just surged around the corner by the gates just opposite Big Ben. A guy came past my right shoulder with a big knife and just started plunging it into the policeman,” he explained, visibly shaken.