A man wearing a fake explosive vest killed two people and injured three others in a stabbing spree that police described as a terrorist attack. Police shot and killed the suspect after he was tackled by members of the public. The three people who were injured are all in the hospital, and one was in critical but stable condition. Police believe the suspect acted alone but say they are still investigating and refused to say whether he was known to law enforcement.
Police were first called to a location near London Bridge because of a stabbing. “A number of people have been stabbed,” police said. Video posted on Twitter appears to show that when police arrived people on the street were trying to pin down the apparent suspect to the ground at London Bridge. He was later shot by police. “It looked like members of the public were fighting with a man that was—it looked like he was trying to be pinned down onto the pavement on the left-hand side of the pavement on London Bridge,” a witness who saw the events through a bus window told CNN. “At that moment, I kind of saw—it looked like a shine of light come across from the man on the floor and I realized quickly it was a knife, the sun was shining on the knife. It was a relatively large knife.” And then “very quickly … it ended with the man being shot,” the witness said.
Another witness who was also on a bus said she saw police “wrestling with one tall, bearded man,” who at one point “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.” Neil Basu, the Metropolitan Police’s counterterrorism chief said the suspect was wearing what turned out to be “a hoax explosive device.”
A van and knife attack in the same area two-and-a-half years ago left eight people dead. Earlier this months, security officials downgraded Britain’s terrorism threat to “substantial” from “severe,” marking the lowest level since 2014.
*This post has been updated with new information since it was first published.
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