A knifeman has gone on the rampage in central London and stabbed to death a woman in her 60s and injured five more people in a potential terror attack. Police were called to Russell Square at 10.30pm last night after the ‘dark-skinned’ suspect, 19, possibly of African descent, chased and stabbed pedestrians in the back, side and arms who were left ‘screaming and covered in blood’ on the pavement.
He was arrested after armed officers Tasered him to the ground and he is now under police guard in hospital. A woman was pronounced dead at the scene and two women and three men were taken to hospital. Three have since been discharged.
The killer’s knife was abandoned on the pavement next to the body of the unnamed victim, which remained under a forensics tent overnight and was taken away by ambulance this morning.
Hotel staff on Russell Square, an area always packed with tourists, said the attacker was ‘just going for anyone he could see’ before he was shot with a Taser and pinned face-down by police.
One worker told the Standard: ‘The police came to the hotel and a guest was telling them what he saw. He said there was a madman running around with a knife just lunging at people randomly and stabbing them. He was just going for anyone he could see’.
Witness Philippa Baglee said the suspect was ‘parading up and down’ the street before the police arrived, the same decision taken by the killers of Lee Rigby in 2013.
Scotland Yard’s top anti-terror officer Mark Rowley gave a press conference outside Scotland Yard at 3.40am and said the 19-year-old appears to have ‘significant mental health issues’ but admitted terrorism could be a motive.
The Met will send scores of armed officers on to the streets of the London this morning – including members of its new elite counter-terror unit – to reassure the public and in case there is a new attack.
Police Speaks below.