A man strapped with a “hoax device” was fatally shot by police following a “terrorism-related” stabbing in London Sunday afternoon that left three people injured, authorities said.
All three victims, one of whom is in a life-threatening condition, have been taken to a hospital for injuries sustained in the attack in Streatham High Road, Metropolitan police said.
One victim was treated for minor injuries from broken glass at the scene before taken to the hospital. The third victim has been hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
The suspect was shot by officers who were working in the area as part of a proactive counterterrorism operation, police said. Additional details about that operation and the suspect were not immediately released.
“The incident was quickly declared as a terrorist incident and we believe it to be Islamist-related,” Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi said in a statement.
The London Ambulance Service said five of its ambulance crews were among the first responders treating people at the scene, which police said has been secured.
Gulled Bulhan, a 19-year-old student from Streatham, said he saw the shooting take place outside of a pharmacy.
“I was crossing the road when I saw a man with a machete and silver canisters on his chest being chased by what I assume was an undercover police officer,” he told Britain’s Press Association. “The man was then shot. I think I heard three gunshots.”
The suspect entered a shop and started stabbing people, according to a nurse who also said she witnessed the attack.
“The shopkeeper tried to get the knife away from him, but he got away and stabbed a woman on a bicycle. The knife was really big,” she told The Telegraph.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson both expressed their gratitude to first responders in separate statements on Twitter.
“Terrorists seek to divide us and to destroy our way of life ― here in London we will never let them succeed,” Khan said.
“My thoughts are with the injured and all those affected,” Johnson said.
The violence comes roughly two months after a man killed two people and wounded three others in another “terror-related” stabbing on the London Bridge.
That man was also found with a fake explosive device strapped to him, authorities had said.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.