VIDEO: Man dead in “truly shocking” London attack
A brutal attack in broad daylight near a military barracks in London left one man dead and two suspects hospitalized Wednesday after a shootout with police. British Prime Minister David Cameron said the attack appeared to be terror related.
In footage caught by a passerby, a man with bloody hands holding a meat cleaver and a knife speaks to the camera in a British accent, saying: “We swear by Almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reasons we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye a tooth for tooth. We apologize that women had to see this today but in our lands our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don’t care about you.”
He gave no indication what that land was.
He then walks back toward the body of the victim. The body is surrounded by three passersby trying to help the victim. The alleged attacker speaks to another man, also possibly involved in the incident. Soon after, both men are seen lying on the ground, having been shot by police who responded to the scene.
The afternoon attack occurred in the southeast London neighborhood of Woolwich, just a few blocks from the Royal Artillery Barracks.
One man was found dead and two men were shot by police and taken to separate London hospitals, Commander Simon Letchford said. One of the men was in serious condition, according to London Ambulance Service.
French President Francois Hollande, speaking at a press conference in Paris with Cameron, said it was a British soldier who was killed. Cameron didn’t immediately confirm that fact but the Britain’s Ministry of Defense said it was urgently investigating if a U.K. soldier was involved.
Cameron said there were “strong indications” it was a terrorist incident.
“We have suffered these attacks before, we have always beaten them back,” Cameron said. “We will not be cowed, we will never buckle.”
The British Cabinet’s emergency committee immediately called a meeting and the prime minister’s office said security was stepped up at barracks across London.
Cameron cut short his Paris trip to return to London and his office said he would chair another emergency committee meeting Thursday.
The barracks — which house a number of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and independent companies of the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards — were the site of shooting events during the 2012 London Olympics.
Fred Oyat, a 44-year-old who lives in a high-rise near where the attack occurred, said he heard four gun shots and then went straight to the window.
“I saw one man lying there bleeding, another lying on the pavement being disarmed. A policeman was pointing a gun at him. A third man was lying further up the street … he was bleeding profusely,” Oyat said. “There were four knives on the ground — big kitchen knives. The knives were very bloody.”
David Dixon, head teacher of a nearby primary school, saw a body lying in the road outside and said police told him there was a serious incident. He told the BBC he then made sure children were inside and put the school into a lockdown mode. He said he then heard shots fired.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is called in when officers are involved in shootings, confirmed that it is investigating the attack.