The Metropolitan Police in London, United Kingdom has confirmed that armed officers have shot a man in Streatham, a suburb of London. The London Ambulance Service confirmed on Twitter that three victims were injured in the stabbing attack and brought to hospital. According to police, one victim is in life-threatening condition. The Metropolitan Police have also added that although the incident is being assessed at this time, they are treating the stabbings as terrorist-related.
The police have confirmed that the suspect involved has been pronounced dead. The event is now contained. The Metropolitan Police named the suspect as Sudesh Amman.
Here is what you need to know about the London stabbing attack:
1. 3 Victims Treated at the Scene & Brought to Hospital
Although the police stated shortly after the incident that they believed two people were injured in the stabbing attack, the London Ambulance Service confirmed on Twitter that they treated three victims for injuries at the scene.
Their updated statement reads: “We treated three patients for injuries at the scene, and took all three people to hospital.”
The Metropolitan Police clarified that one person is at the hospital with life-threatening injuries and they are in the process of informing that individual’s family.
The Deputy Assistant Commissioner (DAC) of the Metropolitan Police Service, Lucy D’Orsi, released a statement stating that two people were stabbed, one man whose injuries are life-threatening, and a woman who has non-life threatening injuries. A third person, a woman, was also injured in the incident, “believed to have been caused by glass following the discharge of the police firearm.”
DAC D’Orsi released a further statement, indicating that the male victim, who is in his 40s, is no longer in a life-threatening condition. The female stabbing victim, who is in her 50s, was released from the hospital. The third person injured, a woman in her 20s, continues to receive treatment in hospital for her injuries, believed to have been caused by glass in the ensuing shooting. These injuries are non-life threatening.
2. Video of the Scene Shows a Large Police Presence
A video of the scene tweeted by Dan Smith of ITN Productions shows a large police presence on the scene in Streatham, with dozens of police vehicles and ambulances. At one point, the video pans up to show a police helicopter flying overhead.
There are also a lot of people standing around the scene trying to get more information. The video doesn’t show a cordoned off area or the specific area where the incident took place.
3. Police Declared the Incident Terrorist and Islamist-Related
In the statement from DAC D’Orsi, the police indicates that “a device was found strapped to the body of the suspect and specialist officers attended. Cordons were put in place and it was quickly established that this was a hoax device.” The police confirmed that the situation is contained and an investigation is now taking place, led by the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command. They added that “the incident was quickly declared as a terrorist incident and we believe it to be Islamist-related.”
Streatham High Road is closed for the investigation, but police reassured the public that there is “no continuing danger” and all evidence has been collected.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson released a statement, as reported by the BBC, indicating that the suspect had been released from prison recently after having served a sentence for terror offenses. He was also under police surveillance at the time of the attack.
Johnson added that the government would “announce further plans for fundamental changes to the system for dealing with those convicted of terrorism offences.”
4. UK Prime Minister and London Mayor Release Statements
United Kingdom Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, thanked the emergency services personnel who responded to the incident. He said: “My thoughts are with the injured and all those affected.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan also released a statement about the stabbing in London, in which he said: “I am in close contact with the Met [Police] Commissioner and local representatives, and want to thank our police, security and emergency services staff for their swift and courageous response.” He added that “terrorists seek to divide us and to destroy our way of life – here in London we will never let them succeed.”
In addition, the U.S. Embassy in London tweeted when the incident was ongoing that Americans in London should avoid the area and monitor the latest developments. This is in line with the Metropolitan Police recommendation that people avoid the area while their officers respond to the situation.
5. London Was the Scene of a Horrible Stabbing Attack Just A Few Months Ago
On November 29, 2019, there was a stabbing attack near London Bridge in the center of the city that resulted in five people getting stabbed, two of them fatally. A number of people fought back against the attacker and restrained him until police arrived, at which point the suspect was shot dead.
This incident occurred at an offender rehabilitation event put on by the Cambridge Institute of Criminology to help offenders reintegrate in society after a prison sentence. The BBC reported in July 2019 that since 2014 there has been a 80% increase in knife crime in England and Wales, with over 43,000 knife crime offenses occurring between March 2018 and March 2019.