These Are The People Who Bravely Stepped In To Stop The London Bridge Attacker
As soon as they realised the attack was happening, members of the public armed themselves with a fire extinguisher and a narwhal tusk and tackled the terrorist to the ground.
Members of the public who risked their lives to tackle the London Bridge attacker have been hailed as heroes by other Londoners, politicians, and the Queen.
Two people were killed and three more injured by a convicted terrorist who launched the attack on Friday afternoon. He was shot dead by police at the scene.
As soon as they realised the attack was happening, bystanders armed themselves with a fire extinguisher and a narwhal tusk and tackled Usman Khan to the ground; they attempted to disarm him of the knives he had taped to his wrists. He also had a hoax explosive device strapped to his body.
One of the men who helped detain the perpetrator and secure his weapon, later confirmed to be a plain-clothes officer from the British Transport Police, was also praised for his bravery.
Witnesses described seeing "three or four men" running out Fishmongers' Hall, where the man, who had been attending a conference organised by University of Cambridge's Institute of Criminology, started his knife rampage.
Gary Lawrence, 48, saw the culprit run out of the building being pursued by the group of men. “One had a stick," he told the Times. "Another had a fire extinguisher. He was brandishing it at first, then spraying it [at the attacker]. The guy with the stick was poking him. They approached the knifeman at the north end of the bridge and he stood swiping his knives, one in each hand, around him.”
One of the men, named only as Luckasz by a colleague who works at the hall, grabbed a narwhal tusk from the wall and used it to tackle the perpetrator. The man is believed to have suffered cuts to his hand while fighting the attacker.
“Being stabbed didn’t stop him giving him a beating. Luckasz is a hero,” his colleague told the Times.
Tour guides Stevie Hurst and Thomas Gray were also among those who tackled the attacker and tried to disarm him before police arrived at the scene. They helped pin him to the ground and tried to kick the knives away from him.
"Everyone was just on top of him trying to bundle him to the ground," Hurst told BBC Radio 5 Live. "We saw that the knife was still in his hand. ... I just put a foot in to try and kick him in the head. We were trying to do as much as we could to try and dislodge the knife from his hand so he wouldn't harm anyone else."
Gray told ITV News: “The guys that were there were absolutely amazing. Heroes beyond belief. So Stevie and I just thought what to do, and just ran towards it, left the cars where they were, and tried to do our best to apprehend the suspect.
“When we got there, he was wielding two knives. One was duct-taped to his hand, so all I could do after the guys had held him down and were pinning him to the ground, tried to stamp as hard as I could on his wrist to try and release the knife as it were.
“Someone kicked the knife away, somewhere northbound up London Bridge. And then after that the police armed response were really quick, got there almost instantaneously. And at that point we were told he had a bomb vest, so we cleared house and got out the way."
Craig Heathcote called 999 when he saw a group of people trying to tackle the suspect to the floor.
He told Sky News: "I was walking across the bridge. I reached the north side and someone came running towards me, saying, 'Get out of the way. Someone's got a knife.'
"I could then see on the other side of the bridge a big scuffle of people trying to get someone to the ground.
"I just immediately called 999. There was lots of shouting and them trying to restrain him or get people out of the way before they fired the guns."
The Queen sent her "thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to all those who have lost loved ones" and praised the "brave individuals who put their own lives at risk to selflessly help and protect others".
London mayor Sadiq Khan called the London Bridge heroes "the very best of humanity" and thanked them for their bravery.
"What’s remarkable about the images that we’ve seen is the breathtaking heroism of members of the public who literally ran towards danger, not knowing what confronted them. Thank you to them, on behalf of all Londoners," he said.
“I’m mayor of the greatest city in the world, and one of our strengths is our diversity. But we do know there are people out there who hate our diversity, who hate what we stand for, and are trying to seek to divide us.
“We saw in the one individual, the suspect, the worst of humanity. But we also saw in the response from members of the public — but also our emergency services — the very best of humanity.”
In a separate interview with the BBC, Khan added that emergency services and other officials "prepare, we plan, we practice for these things, but the public don't", which, he said, made their bravery all the more admirable.
"What you saw yesterday was people running towards danger — and we have the benefit of hindsight. They didn't. What they saw was a man with one big knife and another knife," he continued. "They saw a man with a belt around him, which for all intents and purposes could have been an explosive belt, a suicide vest, and they ran towards him to stop him hurting other people. And I'm so proud, and we should all be really proud of these people."
Security minister Brandon Lewis told the BBC: "I think in the right time and space, we all owe a huge thank you and [should] have a chance to make that thank you very public to those individuals whose courage yesterday was...well, words fail me to really do it justice."
Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick also thanked the bystanders who had stepped in to help police apprehend the attacker.
She said: “I want to thank all the emergency service personnel who are currently working tirelessly to deal with this incident, particularly the police officers from the Met and the City who have worked so closely together to protect the public.
“I also want to thank the members of the public who have helped, either by showing extraordinary courage by stepping in or by following the instructions they’ve been given by officers at the scene and in the area. This support from our public assists us more than you could know."