London Russell Square stabbings: man held on suspicion of murder

Man, 19, held at south London police station after attack in which one woman died and five other people were injured A 19-year-old man ...


Man, 19, held at south London police station after attack in which one woman died and five other people were injured


A 19-year-old man is being held on suspicion of murder after a woman was killed and five other people were injured in multiple stabbings in central London.

A man was arrested at the scene after police stunned him with a Taser, following the attack, which began at 10.30pm on Wednesday in Russell Square, near the Imperial Hotel and the British Museum.

Latest updates as police say they are considering possibility of terrorist motive for mass stabbing in central London on Wednesday evening


The suspect is at a south London police station after receiving treatment in hospital.

The Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said: “Mental health remains a substantial focus for our investigation.”

Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, the Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, also said early reports suggested that mental health was a factor. Scotland Yard removed references to terrorism in the later updates, saying it was keeping an “open mind” as to the motive.


Hotel guests described hearing screaming from the square below, while witnesses to the aftermath saw a body lying on the floor as armed police scrambled to the scene. Other accounts suggested that the attacker had a motorcycle helmet.

FacebookTwitterPinterest Police forensic officers at work in Russell Square, central London, after a knife attack in which a woman in her 60s was killed. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

Two women and three men suffered “various injuries” in the incident and were receiving treatment in hospital. Three were discharged on Thursday morning.

The incident in the popular tourist area came amid warnings about the near-inevitability of a terrorist attack in the UK, following a series of incidents across Europe and the Middle East.


One woman described seeing a man near the scene in motorcycle clothing with a helmet on top of his head.


Philippa Baglee, who was in London to celebrate her 60th birthday, was walking past Russell Square when she saw a group of people looking down at the ground.

“There was someone lying on the ground and lots of people around, and a guy with a black motorcycle helmet balanced on top of his head walking around,” she said.
FacebookTwitterPinterest A body bag is removed from the crime scene in Russell Square. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

“He was on the outside of everyone looking on the ground. The moment I saw an ambulance and police car arrive, I thought someone had just been knocked off their bike.”

Asked to describe the man, she said he was short and dressed in what she thought was all black leathers. “It was all very calm. No one was panicking,” Baglee said.

The investigation into the stabbings, understood to have occurred on the eastern side of the square, was being led by murder detectives on Thursday with the support of counter-terrorism officers.


The Guardian UK

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