One brave man, later confirmed to be a British Transport Police officer, ran across the road to tackle the knifeman
Brave bystanders wrestled a knifeman to the ground on London Bridge today before disarming him and fleeing as police opened fire.
Around six members of the public worked together to disarm the attacker – identified as Usman Khan, 28 – after he went on a knife rampage outside Bank station and Fishmongers’ Hall on the north side of the bridge, killing two.
One brave man, later confirmed to be a plain-clothed British Transport Police officer, had been walking on the other side of the bridge, and risked his own safety by running through traffic and jumping over a central partition to tackle the knifeman.
The man was later seen holding one of two kitchen knives Mr Khan had brandished moments before the assailant was shot dead by armed police.
In footage from the incident, other bystanders were seen using a fire extinguisher and what appeared to be a narwhal tusk to subdue the man, who had stabbed several people in central London.
Another of the heroes, tour guide Thomas Gray, 24, described the moment he confronted the attacker and stamped on his hand, forcing him to release one of the eight-inch knives.
Mr Gray, who had been driving tourists around the capital in a classic Mini Cooper, had been travelling over London Bridge to pick up some more customers at a hotel when he saw the knifeman being pinned to the floor.
The tour guide and his colleague then bravely got out of their vehicles to help, as three other men attempted to keep the attacker on the ground.
He said: ‘There were three big blokes grappling with another man and had him on the floor. I asked what was going on and someone said the man on the ground had just stabbed two women.
Around six members of the public worked to disarm the attacker after he went on a rampage outside Bank station and Fishmongers’ Hall on the north side of the bridge, killing two. Tha man pictured took a knife from the attacker
‘I saw that he had two kitchen knives with blades about 8-inches long. One In each hand. One of the knives appeared to be attached to his hand by duct tape.
‘I stamped as hard as I could on his other wrist to make him let go of the knife and as he released it someone else kicked it away.
‘He was saying “get off me” but we told him “no f***ing way is that happening”. The police were on the scene very quickly. The knifeman appeared to reach for something in bag and the police warned us to move away saying he had a gun.
‘Whether or not he did or whether the police were just trying to get us to move away, I don’t know. I saw the police shoot him three or four times and then heard a dull thud.’
His colleague at Small Car Big City, Stevie Hurst, told BBC Radio 5 that he ran towards the terrorist and kicked him in the head.
‘I felt compelled to jump out of the car and go and see what the situation was’, he said. ‘So everyone was on top of him trying to bundle him to the ground.’
Thomas Gray (left) and Stevie Hurst (right), who both work at Small Car Big City, were also involved in the intervention, in which the attacker was disarmed
Mr Gray, 24, described the moment he confronted the attacker and stamped on his hand, forcing him to release one of the two kitchen knives (Pictured: Bystanders surround the scene)
‘We saw that the knife was still in his hand, he was covered in blood. I just put a foot in to try and kick him in the head, we were trying to do as much as we could to try and dislodge the knife from his hand so he wouldn’t harm anyone else’.
Another of those who intervened in the attack on Friday was a convicted murderer who was out on day release, it has also emerged.
It is believed James Ford rushed to the scene and tried to save the life of a woman victim of the terrorist. Ford was jailed for life – with a minimum of 15 years – in April 2004 for the murder of a 21-year-old with learning difficulties.
Amanda Champion – who had the mental age of a 15-year-old – was found strangled and with her throat cut on waste ground near her home in Ashford, Kent, the previous July.
Police had no leads in the case until a Samaritans worker broke the organisation’s strict confidentiality policy and revealed that Ford, a factory worker and amateur wrestler, had called and confessed: ‘I’ve killed a girl.’
Whitehall sources confirmed that Ford – who had been serving the final days of his sentence at HMP Standford Hill, an open prison in Kent – was on London Bridge.
Another of those who intervened in the attack on Friday was James Ford – a convicted murderer who was out on day release
Metropolitan Police Chief Cressida Dick confirmed two stabbing victims – a man and a woman – had died in a statement given Friday 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.’
It was later confirmed that three further people – a man and two women – were also injured and remain in hospital.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu revealed Mr Khan, from Staffordshire, was the suspect in a statement released in the early hours of Saturday.
He 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.’
Boris Johnson and Sadiq Khan have led tributes to members of the public who helped police take down a suspected terrorist on London Bridge.
The Prime Minister thanked those who responded for their ‘immense bravery’, while the Mayor of London described them as ‘the best of us’.
‘What’s remarkable about the images we’ve seen is the breathtaking heroism of members of the public who literally ran towards danger, not knowing what confronted them,’ Mr Khan said.
‘It’s another example of the bravery and heroism of ordinary Londoners running towards danger, risking their own personal safety to try and save others,’ he said.
Social media users also commended the efforts of the people who stepped in, with many claiming they ‘should be knighted’ while others suggested they should ‘never have to pay for a pint again’.
One social media user commented: ‘The man that held the #londonbridge attacker down should never have to buy a drink again! #hero’. Another commented: ‘All of them should get a medal.’
Another added: ‘So so much respect for the people who helped the police get the terrorist today in London… If there were more people like you all in the world, this would be such a better planet.’
Video filmed at the scene shows at least four people struggling with a man at London Bridge
A man can be seen holding a knife (circled) on London Bridge during the incident toda
Construction worker Howard Walsh said that he and his colleagues saw the member of the public who restrained the attacker being led away by ambulance workers.
He said: ‘We had literally finished working in House of Fraser. We were told to evacuate. We came out and were escorted up the road.
‘We saw one person with a stab wound in his chest, escorted further up the road.’
Mr Walsh, 30, said that the victim appeared to have been stabbed on his left hand side but that they ‘seemed alright’ as they were led away by ambulance workers.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said police were ‘not looking for anyone else after stabbings near London Bridge’ and praised the have-a-go heroes, saying, ‘They are the best of us’.
Social media users took to Twitter today to praise the efforts of those who helped during the incident
Onlooker George Robert said one member of the public ran towards, and then wrestled the suspect toward the ground despite him wearing a hoax bomb vest.
He tweeted: ‘This man was walking behind us on the other side of London Bridge when the attack began.
‘He ran through traffic and jumped the central partition to tackle the attacker with several others. We ran away but looks like he disarmed him. Amazing bravery.
‘This man was walking behind us on the other side of London Bridge when the attack began. He ran through traffic and jumped the central partition to tackle the attacker with several others.
Another onlooker told how armed police shouted at the knifeman ‘don’t move, don’t move’ before they shot him twice.
Video filmed at the scene shows at least four people struggling with a man on London Bridge this afternoon
A man can be seen holding a knife on London Bridge during the incident today, which also saw a man lying on the ground
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.
‘People were running away. It looked like a fight. I saw a man who looked like he was carrying a stick and another man holding a fire extinguisher who were chasing the man with the knife.
‘They grabbed him and pinned him to the ground. The guy was hitting him with a stick and the other one was trying to hit him with the fire extinguisher.
‘Then three or four more people turned up and all of them held him on the ground.
‘One of them grabbed his knife and prized it out of his hand. They were very brave, all of them. The next thing I knew armed police arrived and told everyone to get back.
‘They got everyone back including one guy they had to pull off the man as he held him down.
‘An officer shouted “don’t move” at him twice, but he kept moving so the officer shot him twice on the ground.’
A Met Police spokesman said: ‘Police were called at 1.58pm to a stabbing at premises near to London Bridge. Emergency services attended, including officers from the Met and City of London Police.
Witnesses said there appeared to be a scuffle on the southern side of the bridge with several men attacking another man at about 2pm this afternoon, and police said they were responding ‘as though it is terror-related’.
Onlooker Zack Shooter said police almost knocked him over as they ran towards the incident, adding: ‘Then loads of cars with sirens all rushed past me at full speed.’
Police evacuated London Bridge station and the surrounding area. A cordon was set up at Borough Market while evacuation continued from shops and businesses.
The response from officers led scores of people to run down St Thomas’ Street. Police said they were treating the evacuation of the area surrounding Borough Market as a ‘major incident.’
Station staff at Monument claimed five people have been injured in the London Bridge knife attack. The Tube station has been closed off as armed police investigate.
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