A knifeman was shot dead by armed police just five minutes after he launched a horrific attack near London Bridge which killed two and left up to 12 injured.
Police were called to the north side of London Bridge at 1.58pm on Friday, after reports of a stabbing near Bank station and Fishmongers’ Hall. The Grade II-listed building had been hosting a prisoner rehabilitation conference, ‘Learning Together’, at the time.
The attack is thought to have begun inside the venue, police said, before the suspect – later identified as Usman Khan, 28 – left the building and headed towards London Bridge.
Minutes later, witnesses saw the knifeman being wrestled to the ground by members of the public, before armed-response officers confronted him at 2.03pm and shot him dead.
Guy Lawrence, 48, a London air ambulance volunteer, said the attacker ran out of Fishmongers’ Hall wielding two eight-inch kitchen knives, the Sun reported.
Police were called to the north side of London Bridge at 1.58pm this afternoon, to reports of a stabbing outside Bank station and Fishmongers’ Hall
He added that two brave members of the public had chased after the knifeman – one with a narwhal tusk found inside the venue and the other with a fire extinguisher.
Moments later, the attacker ran onto London Bridge where dramatic video showed he was tackled to the ground by at least six heroic members of the public.
One of these men, later identified as a plain-clothed British Transport Police officer, had been walking on the other side of the bridge, and risked his own safety to run across traffic and confront Mr Khan. He was later seen holding one of two kitchen knives the assailant had brandished.
Two colleagues, Thomas Gray, 24, and Stevie Hurst, had jumped out of their cars on the bridge and joined in the scuffle, with Mr Gray describing stamping on the assailant’s hand until he released a knife.
After bystanders disarmed Mr Khan, armed police took control of the situation. Officers told people on top of the suspect to move away, before dragging the last member of the public to safety and opening fire.
Armed police, who confronted the suspect at 2.03pm, were heard shouting ‘stop moving’ twice before shooting the man at close range.
Police also evacuated the south side of London Bridge near Borough Market, as hundreds of frightened bystanders began screaming and running for their lives when shots were fired.
One of the bystanders who intervened on London Bridge was seen holding a knife (left) which appeared to have been taken from the suspect. Another man – believed to be the shot knifeman – could be seen lying on the ground, close to a knife (circled, right)
Armed police on London Bridge told the brave bystanders to move away from the attacker, before shooting the knifeman at close range at 2.03pm
The London Ambulance Service was called to the incident at 2.02pm on Friday afternoon, with the first medic arriving on scene within seven minutes of the call. The service later confirmed it had taken three people to two hospitals.
The London Fire Brigade also received its first call at 2.15pm.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed the incident was being responded to ‘as though it is terror-related’ as a ‘precaution’ at 3.22pm this afternoon.
A statement read: ‘At this stage, the circumstances relating to the incident at London Bridge remain unclear. However, as a precaution, we are currently responding to this incident as though it is terror-related.’
The suspect is seen on the floor above as armed office point their guns towards him. Members of the public can be seen stood around
A woman is carried away from the scene by police officers at London Bridge this afternoon. Four officer took her to safety
People are evacuated from London Bridge in the capital this afternoon after a police incident
At 3.55pm, almost two hours after the attack began, the force added that a ‘number of people’ had been stabbed in the incident.
‘A number of people have been stabbed. We will provide further information when possible’, a further statement from the force read.
At around 4.20pm, it was confirmed by police that the attacker had been killed at the scene. The force also revealed the incident was being treated as a terror attack.
On Twitter, at 4.34pm, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: ‘I want to thank the emergency services and members of the public for their immense bravery in responding to this suspected terrorist attack at London Bridge.
Police apprehend a man in an street on the south side of London Bridge today as they respond to the incident. Other members of the public seem to be walking past obliviously
Police at Borough Market after a knifeman was shot by officers at 2.03pm on London Bridge this afternoon. Emergency response units flooded the streets
Metropolitan Police Chief Cressida Dick (pictured) later confirmed that two stabbing victims had died in a statement given this evening
‘This is an appalling incident and all my thoughts are with the victims and their families.’
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu released an official statement around 15 minutes later. He confirmed a device ‘strapped to the body of the suspect’ was a hoax explosive device.
What happened in 2017’s London Bridge attack?
Eight people were killed and 48 seriously injured when terrorists struck on London Bridge two years ago.
Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, mowed down pedestrians on the bridge before stabbing random members of the public around Borough Market.
Police with riot shields on London Bridge on June 3, 2017
The trio were armed with ceramic knives and had fake suicide belts strapped around their waists during the marauding attack on the evening of June 3 2017.
Unarmed police officers, medics and members of the public rushed to help save lives during the attackers’ rampage around Borough Market.
In less than 10 minutes, Butt, Redouane and Zaghba were shot dead after confronting armed officers in Stoney Street.
Emergency personnel on London Bridge on June 3, 2017
At an inquest at the Old Bailey earlier this year, a jury found that the three terrorists were lawfully killed.
A separate inquest concluded victims Xavier Thomas, 45, Chrissy Archibald, 30, Sara Zelenak, 21, James McMullan, 32, Kirsty Boden, 28, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, Sebastien Belanger, 36, and Ignacio Echeverria, 39, were unlawfully killed.
He said: ‘I can confirm that at approximately 2pm today, Friday, 29 November, police were called to a stabbing at a premises near to London Bridge.
‘Emergency services attended, including officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police. A male suspect was shot by specialist armed officers from City of London Police and I can confirm that this suspect died at the scene.
‘A number of other people received injuries during the incident and as soon as we can provide further updates on their condition, we will. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to those anxiously awaiting news from loved ones.
‘Due to reports the suspect may have had an explosive device, specialist officers attended the scene and wide cordons are in place to ensure there remains no further danger to the public We believe a device that was strapped to the body of the suspect is a hoax explosive device’.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said police are not looking for anyone else in the stabbing, as he commended the ‘breathtaking heroism’ of the members of public who intervened.
At around 6.30pm, it was reported that at least one member of the public had died in the attack.
Metropolitan Police Chief Cressida Dick confirmed that two stabbing victims, a man and a woman, had died in a statement given this evening.
She said: ‘I am deeply saddened and angered that our city has again been targeted by terrorism.
‘It is with the heaviest of hearts that I must now inform you that, as well as the suspect who was shot dead by police, two of those injured in this attack in the London Bridge area have tragically lost their lives.’
Early on Saturday morning, the suspect was identified by police as Usman Khan, 28.
It was also confirmed that three people – a man and two women – were injured in the attack and remain in hospital.
Mr Basu said: ‘We are now in a position to confirm the identity of the suspect as 28-year-old Usman Khan, who had been residing in the Staffordshire area. As a result, officers are, tonight, carrying out searches at an address in Staffordshire.
‘This individual was known to authorities, having been convicted in 2012 for terrorism offences. He was released from prison in December 2018 on licence and clearly, a key line of enquiry now is to establish how he came to carry out this attack.
‘Tragically, two people – a man and a woman – were killed during the attack. Three others – a man and two women – were also injured and remain in hospital.’
Police and emergency services at the scene of the incident on London Bridge this afternoon. Police officers were seen co-coordinating members of the public