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Parliament attack: Eyewitness saw ‘man approaching the police officer probably with a knife’

PUBLISHED: 15:39 22 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:35 03 August 2017

Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA

Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA

JONATHAN BRADY

Eyewitnesses around the Houses of Parliament in London have described the scene at what police are calling a “serious incident” where an officer has been stabbed.

Tom Osbourne. Picture: Tom Osbourne. Tom Osbourne. Picture: Tom Osbourne.

Jason Elkins, who is part of the Archant Dialogue team in Norwich, was inside the House of Lords as part of an event and said they have been told that they can not leave at the moment.

“We are at the House of Lords for an event with the Countryside Alliance and it was coming to an end when we were told that the black rod gate has been closed and we have to stay in the room until further notice.

“From where we are we can see all of the emergency services on Westminster Bridge and there is a police boat patrolling the Thames.”

MORE: Police officer stabbed and alleged assailant shot dead by police at ‘terrorist incident’ at Houses of Parliament

Mr Elkins added that there has been no indication of when they will be able to leave but said that everyone where they are seems quite calm and have just been informing loved ones that they are safe.

Kevin Schofield, the editor of PoliticsHome.com heard “a very loud bang” from the press gallery inside the Houses of Parliament followed by lots of shouting and men running around.

He initially thought it was a car crash but then he looked outside the window to a heavily-guarded area outside which is out of bounds to the public.

MORE: Our reporter in Houses of Parliament describes the scene

He told Sky News: “Someone rushed through, attacked a policeman, a policeman went down, another policeman came and he was rescued.

“The man who had assaulted him got up and he appeared to be carrying either a knife or a gun. Then we heard gunfire, lots of gunfire, maybe five or six rounds.

“All I remember seeing is the man approaching the police officer probably with a knife and then there was gunfire.

“He was walking towards a second policeman with his arm outstretched, with what looked like a knife in his hand, having already assaulted another policeman.

“It was at that moment that you realised that something serious was happening - a man had broken in to Parliament and had a weapon.”

A line of red buses and several ambulances could be seen on Westminster Bridge.

Alex Wafer, 47, who was cycling nearby and saw the aftermath, said: “At the end of the embankment it appears as though there is an ambulance.

“It looks as if they are treating somebody.

“And just below, it looks like there may be another paramedic treating someone else.”

Witness Quentin Letts said he saw a man in black attack a police officer outside Parliament before being shot two or three times as he tried to storm into the House of Commons.

“I saw a thick-set man in black clothes come through the gates into New Palace Yard, just below Big Ben,” he told the BBC.

“He had something in his hand, it looked like a stick of some sort, and he was challenged by a couple of policemen in yellow jackets.

“And one of the yellow-jacketed policemen fell down and we could see the man in black moving his arm in a way that suggested he was stabbing or striking the yellow-jacketed policeman.”

The other officer ran to get help and the man in black ran about 15 yards towards the entrance, he said.

He added: “As this attacker was running towards the entrance two plain-clothed guys with guns shouted at him what sounded like a warning, he ignored it and they shot two or three times and he fell.”

A man who did not want to be named said: “I just happened to be passing through Westminster Square.

“I heard shots and at about the same time saw a car that seemed to have mounted the pavement outside Parliament.”

Eyewitness Rick Longley told the Press Association he saw a man stab a policeman.

Fighting back tears he said: “We were just walking up to the station and there was a loud bang and a guy, someone, crashed a car and took some pedestrians out.

“They were just laying there and then the whole crowd just surged around the corner by the gates just opposite Big Ben.

“A guy came past my right shoulder with a big knife and just started plunging it into the policeman.

“I have never seen anything like that. I just can’t believe what I just saw.”

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