LONDON — A terrorism suspect was shot dead by police Friday afternoon after several people were stabbed at London Bridge, officials said.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu told a press conference outside the Metropolitan police headquarters that the attack had been declared a terrorist incident.
“A male suspect was shot by specialist armed officers from the City of London Police and I can confirm that the suspect died at the scene,” he said. “A number of other people received injuries during this incident — as soon as we can proved an update on their conditions we will.
The area surrounding the incident was cordoned off and bus, subway and train stations were closed. Shops and restaurants in the area were evacuated.
Video posted to social media from eyewitnesses appeared to show armed police and members of the public crowd around a person on the floor, on the north side of the bridge. Police are treating the incident as though it were terrorism-related on a precautionary basis.
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The attack was first reported just before 2 p.m. (9 a.m. ET) and the Metropolitan Police confirmed “a number of people have been injured.” Their condition is not known.
Transport for London confirmed that London Bridge station, a major terminus for commuters across the southeast of England, was closed.
The London Ambulance Service declared a major incident and confirmed it had a number of crews at the scene.
Police vehicles and a fire truck could be seen arriving at the scene 90 minutes after the incident.
Julian Hasslacher, 40, from Bristol, was supposed to deliver legal documents to a law firm near London Bridge by 4 p.m. but was unable to get through because of a police cordon.
“It’s difficult to say I guess,” he said, when asked for his reaction. “A strange mixture of shock and you know I guess inevitability that this is something we live with now. It’s sad, right?”
A bystander who declined to provide a name described hearing “rapid gunfire” and seeing police officers dragging a motionless body away from the scene.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan thanked emergency services in a statement and said, “We must — and we will — stay resolute in our determination to stand strong and united in the face of terror. Those who seek to attack us and divide us will never succeed.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement released via official Twitter account: “I’m being kept updated on the incident at London Bridge and want to thank the police and all emergency services for their immediate response.”
London Bridge was the scene of a terror attack in 2017, in which eight people died and 48 were injured.