- Daniel Sorabji/AFP via Getty Images
- Two people were killed, three victims were injured, and a suspect was shot dead by police on Friday in an attack that London authorities declared a terrorist incident.
- Police said they were called to London Bridge at 1:58 p.m. local time for reports of a stabbing.
- They ended up shooting and killing a suspect who had a knife and a hoax explosive device.
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At least two victims were killed, three others were injured, and a suspect was fatally shot by police on Friday after a terrorist incident on London Bridge.
A number of details remain unclear, but police have steadily begun creating a timeline of Friday’s deadly incident.
Here’s how the event unfolded.
London Metropolitan Police were called to London Bridge for a stabbing incident on Friday, November 29, 2019, at 1:58 p.m. local time.
Authorities quickly declared the attack a “terrorist incident,” and said the man was found with a knife and a “hoax explosive device.”
He had been tackled to the ground and disarmed by members of the public, who were immediately hailed as heroes and praised for their bravery.
Videos from bystanders showed authorities arriving at the scene, pulling civilians off the suspect, and shooting the suspect from close range.
- Getty Images/Chris J. Ratcliffe
A group of civilians could be seen tackling the suspect to the ground and wrestling away his weapon.
One bystander told The Telegraph he “kicked him in the head to make him release his knife.”
In one video, a man can be seen backing away from the group of people holding a knife, apparently trying to move it further away from the suspect.
Neil Basu, the assistant commissioner for the London Metropolitan Police, said the suspect was shot by specialist armed officers and died at the scene.
Authorities quickly evacuated the area, shutting down the bridge and the train station for several hours as panicked residents sought cover.
Witnesses and bystanders dove for cover in local restaurants and shops, or hunkered down in office buildings.
Police shut down London Bridge and began searching the nearby Borough Market, evacuating each bar one by one.
London Bridge station wasn’t reopened until 6:30 p.m. local time.
Over the next few hours, local and national leaders have lauded the bravery of the civilians who tackled the suspect without knowing the apparent explosive device was a hoax.
- Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the bravery of those “who physically intervened to protect the lives of others.”
He added: “To me, they represent the very best of our country, and I thank them on behalf of all of our country.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan also thanked the civilians involved, applauding the “breathtaking heroism of members of the public who literally ran towards danger.”
Shortly after 8 p.m., the police commissioner told reporters that two of the stabbing victims had died and another three were injured and were being treated in hospital.
Commissioner Cressida Dick warned that the incident had sparked “a very fast-moving, dynamic investigation,” and that details on the suspect’s identity weren’t immediately available.
In an early Saturday morning update, police released more information about the victims.
“Tragically, two people – a man and a woman – were killed during the attack,” Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu wrote. “Three others – a man and two women – were also injured and remain in hospital.”
Basu also released the name of the suspect: 28-year-old Usman Khan.
- Reuters/Peter Nicholls
According to Basu, Khan was previously know to authorities. He had been convicted of terrorism-related charges in 2012.
“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,” Basu said in a Saturday-morning update about the attack.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu also shared more information about the start of the attack, which he said began at Fishmongers’ Hall, a historic building near the London Bridge.
“The circumstances, as we currently understand them, are that the attacker attended an event earlier on Friday afternoon at Fishmonger’s Hall called ‘Learning Together,'” Basu said in his update. “We believe that the attack began inside before he left the building and proceeded onto London Bridge, where he was detained and subsequently confronted and shot by armed officers.”
Fishmongers’ Hall is located on the north side of the bridge. Several civilians confronted the man —including a man with a narwhal tusk — pushing him away from the hall.
- screenshot/The Guardian
Writer and director Amy Coop tweeted what she witnessed at the scene: “A guy who was with us at Fishmongers Hall took a 5′ narwhale [sic] tusk from the wall and went out to confront the attacker.”
In a video of the attack a man can be seen wielding a large white pole, which according to Coop is a narwhal tusk.