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Four Dead, 20 Injured Following Terror Attack at British Parliament

UPDATE 1:18 PM ET: An image of the injured assailant has been circulated:

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The British Parliament in London was in lockdown following several shots fired after a vehicle crashed into the railings. Police shot a suspect after a car drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. The incident is being treated as a terror attack by Scotland Yard until they know otherwise.

A person was shot outside by police and multiple bodies were visible on the floor outside of Parliament. Also, numerous people were seen down on the road of the bridge, with it being reported that more than ten people were hit by the vehicle, a grey Hyundai. Four people have died from the attack and many of the injuries are described as catastrophic. London ambulance services state they treated ten injuries on the bridge.

Also, it is being reported that the police officer who was attacked has passed away.

Prime Minister Theresa May was inside Parliament at the time of the incident and was ushered out by police and quickly driven away. The deputy speaker announced that the UK Houses of Parliament had been suspended following the incident.

Witnesses state that they saw a man with a knife on the grounds. The Commons leader says that a police officer was stabbed and the suspect was shot in the chest by law enforcement outside of the House of Commons.

The Westminster Tube station has been shut down and other roads in the area have been closed. A medical helicopter landed in the square and more than a dozen police cars and several ambulance crews were on the scene shortly after the incident.

According to the White House, President Donald Trump has been briefed on the incident and will continue to monitor the situation.

The president also offered up some brief comments on the incident before the start of a meeting today.

The State Department also offered to provide assistance and advised Americans in London to notify their families of their status.

According to the Daily Mail, a witness stated they saw the assailant before and after he was shot by police:

Witness Jayne Wilkinson said: ‘We were taking photos of Big Ben and we saw all the people running towards us, and then there was an Asian guy in about his 40s carrying a knife about seven or eight inches long.

‘And then there were three shots fired, and then we crossed the road and looked over. The man was on the floor with blood.

‘He had a lightweight jacket on, dark trousers and a shirt. He was running through those gates, towards Parliament, and the police were chasing him.’

Also, Daily Mail journalist Quentin Letts witnessed the incident and spoke to the BBC about it, giving the following description:

“This man 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.

“We could see the man in black moving his arm in a way that suggested he was either stabbing or striking the yellow-jacketed policeman, and one of the policemen then ran to get help, which was very quick to come and as this attacker was running towards the entrance used by MPs to get into the House of Commons.

“As he was running he ran, about I’d say 15 yard perhaps, two plain clothes guys with guns shouted at him what sounded like a warning, he ignored it and they shot two or three times and he fell.”

Additional security has been provided to political building across Britain in the wake of this incident. The gates have also been closed at Buckingham Palace. It has also been noted that today marks the first anniversary of the terror attack in Brussels.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted out the following statement on the incident:

Theresa May’s spokesperson also released a statement:

“The prime minister was brought back to Number 10 from Parliament. She is currently monitoring the situation.”

The Parliament was scheduled to be evacuated but that was halted after a suspicious package was found in a vehicle and the bomb squad was called in. Also, MPs voted to adjourn Parliament for the day.

London’s mayor sent out the following statement on the attack:

The London Eye, the popular tourist attraction, was stopped in the wake of the incident and a number of people were being held in the large Ferris wheel’s capsules. Additionally, reporters inside the locked down Parliament stated that it was a very tense situation inside.

Scotland Yard gave a short press conference after the incident giving some bare facts, pointing out that a “counter-terrorism investigation” is underway.

It was also noted during the presser that the Metropolitan Police’s acting commissioner was an eyewitness to the attack. He was uninjured but will likely provide useful testimony. The police also released a statement:

At roughly 1 PM ET, people were being supervised as they were allowed to file out of Parliament. It is believed that many of them will talk to police to provide witness statements.

UPDATE 2:02 PM ET: At a press conference by the police this afternoon, the casualty numbers were updated to reflect that four people had been killed — including one police officer — and 20 injured. It is also believed that there was only one attacker. The attacker is among one of the deceased.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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