Nov. 29 (UPI) — Two people were killed and others wounded by a suspected terrorist wearing a fake suicide belt before officers shot him to death him atop London Bridge on Friday afternoon, Metropolitan Police said.
The knife-wielding suspect was shot by city of London police and died at the scene, Neil Blau, an assistant commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, said at a brief news conference.
Police initially released few details of the incident except to say that “a number of people” had been seriously injured in the attack at a shop near the iconic bridge. They said he had been chased out of historic Fishmongers’ Hall at 2 p.m. after people had been stabbed.
Metropolitan Police reported that several people at the scene assisted them to help stop suspect, with one man removing a knife from the scene while others struggled with the suspect. He was shot by police.
Blau said the the device strapped to assailant’s body was a hoax. Authorities said he probably donned it to prevent from being tackled.
Pedestrians and vehicular commuters described the fear they felt and the chaos at the scene. One, Ulig Bek, 23, of Uzbekistan, told The Times of London, “I saw the guy lying on the ground and didn’t know what was going on.”
Bek, whose video recorded shots being fired, added, “The police were shouting at him and he was shouting, ‘Help, help, help’. Everyone was so shook up. Police were screaming, ‘Put it down.'”
Authorities shut off traffic to London Bridge and closed a nearby train station during the incident. They later said that enhanced patrols would be implemented throughout the city during this busy shopping period.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded to the stabbing on social media.
“I’m being kept updated on the incident at London Bridge and want to thank the police and all emergency services for their immediate response,” Johnson said.
A NATO official said the London the alliance is not making any change in plans for next week’s summit in London. President Donald Trump is among those scheduled to attend.