London Bridge attack: Public praised after tackling stabbing suspect in fake bomb vest

Tom BelgerFinance and policy reporter

London mayor Sadiq Khan praised the “breathtaking heroism” of members of the public for tackling the suspected attacker despite his hoax suicide vest in a terrorist incident on London Bridge.

Khan also paid tribute to the bravery of emergency services in dealing with the attack on Friday afternoon, which saw several people stabbed.

Police confirmed they had shot dead a suspect with a fake explosive device at the scene, which also saw much of the area evacuated as emergency services flooded the scene.

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Twitter users praised the “true heroes” who had rushed to help at the scene, with one saying passers-by and officers alike deserved a medal for preventing further harm to the public.

One man who said he was at the scene tweeted that he had witnessed the “amazing bravery” of another member of the public.

READ MORE: Suspect shot dead after terrorist incident at London Bridge

He said he had seen the man in a suit run to help pin down the suspect, and appeared to have retrieved the knife and taken it away from the scene. “He ran through traffic and jumped the central partition to tackle the attacker with several others.”

Khan thanked the emergency services who attended the incident: “Every day, they put their lives on the line for us, running towards danger in order to keep us safe.

“I’d also like to thank members of the public who risked their own safety this afternoon. They are the best of us.”

An eyewitness in contact with Yahoo News UK shared a video on social media that appeared to show the moment a group of officers and members of the public held down a man on the pavement. It also appeared to show a member of the public holding the knife, and another holding a stick.

Footage shows a man pinned down by police shortly before he appeared to be shot. Photo: Twitter / @HBOBlog
Footage shows a man pinned down by police shortly before he appeared to be shot. Photo: Twitter / @HBOBlog

The officers and others then moved quickly away from the individual, before he appeared to be shot as officers aimed at him as he tried to sit up.

Neil Basu, head of counter-terrorism policing, said in a speech outside Scotland Yard: “I want to thank our brave emergency services who responded to today’s horrific incident.

“I can confirm that at approximately 2pm today, Friday 29th November, police were called to a stabbing at a premises near to London Bridge.

READ MORE: Several people ‘stabbed at conference hall’ near London Bridge

He added: “Emergency services attended, including officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police. A male suspect was shot by specialist armed officers from City of London police and I can confirm that this suspect died at the scene.

“A number of other people received injuries during this incident. As soon as we can provide further updates on their condition, we will.

“As you would expect, due to the nature of the incident we responded as though this was terror related. I’m now in a position to confirm that it has been declared a terrorist incident.”

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