A man wearing a fake explosive vest stabbed several people on Nov. 29 in London, killing two, in what police are treating as a terrorist attack before he was tackled by members of the public and then fatally shot by officers on London Bridge, police and the city’s mayor said.
Metropolitan Police Chief Cressida Dick said two stabbing victims had died and three injured people were being treated in a hospital.
Police confirmed they were alerted at around 2 p.m. local time a stabbing near London Bridge, the scene of a deadly attack by terrorists two years ago.
Half a dozen bystanders tackled the suspect to the ground and grabbed his knife. A video posted on Twitter showed police dragging one man off the suspect before an officer took careful aim. Two shots rang out. The man stopped moving.
Police said the suspect, who has not been identified, died at the scene.
“A male suspect was shot by specialist armed officers from the City of London police and I can confirm that this suspect died at the scene,” the United Kingdom’s top counter-terrorism officer, Neil Basu, told Reuters.
The suspect was wearing what is believed to be a fake suicide vest.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has called a snap election for Dec. 12 and is due to host NATO leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump next week, praised those who took on the man for their courage and said Britain would never be cowed.
“I … want to pay tribute to the extraordinary bravery of those members of the public who physically intervened to protect the lives of others,” Johnson told reporters in Downing Street.
“For me they represent the very best of our country and I thank them on behalf of all of our country,” Johnson said. “This country will never be cowed, or divided, or intimidated by this sort of attack.”
He said the incident was now thought to have been contained and vowed that anyone else involved would be hunted down.
The White House issued a statement following the attack.
“President Trump has been briefed on this morning’s attack at the London Bridge and is monitoring the situation,” said White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere.
“The United States strongly condemns all horrific acts of violence on innocent people, and we pledge our full support to our ally, the United Kingdom,” the White House statement added.
Several witnesses spoke out about what had happened.
“We were all so scared and ran into a shop and locked ourselves in the toilet,” witness Julia Fasone told the Telegraph. Another witness, Josh Coch, added, “I heard there were men with knives on the loose and everyone just started panicking and running away. Everyone in Pret a Manger was beckoning to us to get inside and get off the street so we all ran in. The owner apparently called the police.”
During the 2017 election campaign, London Bridge was the scene of an attack when three militants drove a van into pedestrians and then attacked people in the surrounding area, killing eight and injuring at least 48.
ISIS terrorist group said its fighters were responsible, but the British authorities have cast doubt on those claims.
The month before, a suicide bomber killed 22 children and adults and wounded 59 at a packed concert hall in the English city of Manchester, as crowds began leaving a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande.
In March the same year, an attacker stabbed a policeman close to London’s parliament buildings after a car plowed into pedestrians on nearby Westminster Bridge.
Six people died, including the assailant and the policeman he stabbed, and at least 20 were injured in what police called a “marauding terrorist attack.”
Earlier this month, Britain had lowered its national terrorism threat level to “substantial” from “severe,” its lowest level since 2014.
Reuters, The Associated Press and Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this report.