Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:

  • Five people have died and around 40 others have been injured in what police are treating as a terrorist incident near the UK Houses of Parliament in central London;
  • One woman hit by the attacker's car before he reached Parliament was confirmed dead by a doctor at St Thomas' Hospital
  • The attacker drove a grey Hyundai i40 across Westminster Bridge before crashing it into railings then running through the gates of the Palace of Westminster at about 2.30pm;
  • A police officer, who was then stabbed, has since died;
  • The knifeman, who was shot by police and received treatment, has since died.
  • Another woman who apparently fell into the Thames was rescued and given urgent medical treatment on a nearby pier
  • Around three shots were fired outside the Palace of Westminster after the knifeman ran through the gates waving a weapon;
  • Some eyewitness reports say the car was deliberately driven onto the pavement at Westminster Bridge.
  • London Ambulance Service said paramedics had treated at least 10 patients on Westminster Bridge;
  • The French Prime Minister has confirmed that several French school children are among the injured as well as four university students from Lancashire.
  • World leaders have condemned the attack in Westminster.
  • Police believe the attacker acted alone.
  • Theresa May vows that "the forces of evil" would never be allowed "to drive us apart".
  • The UK police officer who was killed today has been named by Scotland Yard as Keith Palmer.

Update 10.40pm: A unarmed police officer who was among five people killed in a suspected terror attack in Westminster has been named as Pc Keith Palmer.

The 48-year-old husband and father was stabbed by a man armed with two large knives inside the grounds of the Houses of Parliament.

Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

Minutes earlier the attacker had mown down pedestrians with a car on Westminster Bridge, including schoolchildren.

Speaking outside Scotland Yard, acting deputy commissioner Mark Rowley, the Met's top anti-terror officer, said about 40 people had been injured, several - including two police officers - seriously.

He declined to name the attacker, but said police believe he was "inspired by international terrorism".

Mr Rowley said: "Today in Westminster we saw tragic events unfold and our thoughts are with those who lost loved ones, those who were injured and all those affected by this attack.

"One of those who died today was a police officer, Pc Keith Palmer, a member of our parliamentary and diplomatic protection command. Keith, aged 48, had 15 years' service and was a husband and father.

"He was someone who left for work today expecting to return home at the end of his shift, and he had every right to expect that would happen.

"I can also now confirm that there are three members of the public who have lost their lives in the attack. Specially-trained family liaison officers have been deployed to support them.

"And, as I confirmed earlier, the suspected attacker was shot dead by an armed officer. Therefore, meaning that now in total we have five people who died today."

Mr Rowley said three police officers were among those injured, two of whom were in a serious condition.

He refused to comment on the identity of the attacker, but said: "Our working assumption is that he was inspired by international terrorism."

Update: 10.30pm: Five people have died and around 40 others have been injured in the Westminster terror attack, Scotland Yard's top anti-terror officer Mark Rowley has confirmed.

Update 9pm: Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed that four people - including one police officer and the perpetrator - died in today's "sick and depraved" attack in Westminster.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street after chairing a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergencies committee, Mrs May paid tribute to the "exceptional men and women" of the police force who responded to the attack.

Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

She confirmed that a single attacker drove a car into pedestrians walking on Westminster Bridge, killing two of them, before running with a knife through the front gates of the Palace of Westminster, where he killed a police officer before being shot dead.

She vowed that "the forces of evil" would never be allowed "to drive us apart".

Mrs May said that any attempt to defeat the values that Parliament stands for was "doomed to failure".

And she vowed: "We will all move forward together, never giving in to terror and never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart."

The UK's terror threat level would remain at "severe", Mrs May said.

She praised the bravery of the police officers "who keep us and our democratic institutions safe".

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected, to the victims themselves and to their families and friends, who waved their loved ones off but will not now be welcoming them home.

"For those of us who were in Parliament at the time of this attack, these events provide a particular reminder of the exceptional bravery of our police and security services who risk their lives to keep us safe.

"Once again today, these exceptional men and women ran towards the danger, even as they encouraged others to move the other way."

Update 8pm: Four university students were injured as they were caught up in the attack on Westminster Bridge.

They were among a group of 13 students and a lecturer from Edge Hill University, in Ormskirk, who were on the first day of a two-day educational visit to the Houses of Parliament.

The students had just left Parliament and made their way on to Westminster Bridge after they had watched Prime Minister's Questions and met with MPs.

Among those injured were Owen Lambert, 18, from Morecambe, Lancs, who needed stitches to a head wound, and Travis Frain, from Darwen.

Dr John Cater, Vice Chancellor of Edge Hill University, told BBC North West Tonight: "They had just actually finished their session, were leaving the Parliament building and in the Westminster Bridge area where we understand ... they were involved in the incident.

"We understand that two students have been taken to hospital but as walking wounded - one with a head wound and one with a wrist injury. There are two other students who have minor injuries who are with police and acting as witnesses.

"The good news is that the other nine students are now back in a hostel receiving support and will return to the North West tomorrow."

He added: "The details are invariably hazy I guess.Our assumption is that they were either knocked over by other people or struck by the vehicle. Obviously all of them will be somewhat traumatised by what they have seen as well."

Earlier, the university tweeted: "All students and lecturer in Westminster have been accounted for and are being supported by the university."

Update 7.30pm: World leaders have condemned the attack in Westminster.

The French and German leaders have both issued statements offering Britain their support and Theresa May has spoken on the phone to US president Donald Trump.

Update 7.10pm: The UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that the UK Government's top priority following the Westminster attack was "the security of its people".

Speaking during a visit to Pakistan, Ms Rudd urged the public to remain calm and keep vigilant.

She said: "I know the whole country will be thinking of and praying for those affected by this terrible incident. Our top priority is people's security.

"We have the best police and security services in the world and we will let them get on with their job."

Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

The UK Home Secretary described the incident as "on-going" as she said the UK Prime Minister would hold a meeting of the emergency Cobra committee to consider the situation.

"I want to thank the emergency services for the quick response, and pay tribute to their bravery, their courage, and their professionalism.

"I have been briefed by the Met Police and by the security services, and the Security Minister has also been updated.

"This is an on-going incident and the Government will continue to be updated. The Prime Minister will chair Cobra today.

"I urge everyone to remain calm, but to be vigilant, and if they see anything they are concerned about they should report it to the police."

Ms Rudd added: "The British people will be united in working together to defeat those who would harm our shared values.

"Values of democracy, tolerance and the rule of law. Values symbolised by the Houses of Parliament. Values that will never be destroyed."

Update 6.50pm: The French Prime Minister has confirmed that several French school children are among the injured.

Update 6.40pm: Metropolitan Police Acting Deputy Commissioner and Head of Counter Terrorism Mark Rowley made a statement outside Scotland Yard to update the public about the incident, the ongoing operation into what has happened and what people can expect in the coming days.

He said: "As you know, we've declared this as a terrorist incident and the counter-terrorism command are carrying out a full-scale investigation into events today.

Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

"The attack started when a car was driven over Westminster Bridge, hitting and injuring a number of members of the public also including three police officers on their way back from a commendation ceremony.

"The car then crashed near to Parliament and at least one man, armed with a knife, continued the attack and tried to enter Parliament.

"Sadly I can confirm that now four people have died - that includes the police officer who was protecting Parliament and one man we believe to be the attacker who was shot by a police firearms officer. The officer's family have been made aware. At least 20 people have been injured.

"As part of long-established and well-rehearsed plans Parliament has been locked down and the Met responded in line with our plans for a marauding terrorist attack. That response included uniformed and specialist firearms officers.

"We now of course have an ongoing operation and, whilst we currently believe there was only one attacker, I'm sure the public will understand us taking every precaution in locking down and searching the area as thoroughly and exhaustively as possible.

"I know officials working in Parliament and the public in the area completely understand the need to do this and I thank them for their patience and their support.

"This investigation has the full weight and expertise of the counter-terrorism command behind it and if there are people who saw the events unfold today that haven't yet spoken to us I would urge to get in touch."

"A crime scene will remain in place in the affected areas in Westminster and you will understand it is vital as we carry out a painstaking investigation to recover all the possible evidence.

"Looking forward, throughout the rest of the day, including when people are commuting home and indeed over the days that follow, the people of London will see extra police officers armed and unarmed on our streets.

"This includes our officers working longer hours and extra shifts alongside our colleagues from British Transport Police and the City of London, and of course as you're aware we can call on the support of the military should we need to at a future point.

"We are also in a process of opening up our casualty bureau to help those people who are worried about friends or family who may have been caught up in the attack.

"Furthermore, we are reaching out to communities and community leaders across London to reassure them. Our strength as a city depends on our ability to stand together in such terrible times.

"If anyone sees anything suspicious or anything that causes concern, please do contact us, don't hesitate.

"My thoughts are with all those who have been affected by today's attack. And as a service we have lost one of our own as he acted to protect the public and his colleagues.

"This is a day we planned for but we hoped would never happen.

"Sadly it's now a reality.

"We will continue to do all we can to protect the people of London."

Mr Rowley said the officer who was attacked was one of the armed officers who protect Parliament, and detectives currently believe it was a lone attacker.

He said: "We are satisfied at this stage that it looks like there was only one attacker, but it would be foolish to be overconfident so early on.

"For a precautionary basis are locking down the area and doing all the necessary searches so we can be completely confident that everyone is safe."

Mr Rowley said that, apart from the police officer and his attacker, it was his understanding that the two other victims died on the bridge.

Update 6.01pm: Four people were killed in the Westminster terror attack, including the police officer who was stabbed and his attacker, Scotland Yard's top anti-terror officer Mark Rowley has confirmed.

Assistant Police Commissioner Rowley also said that at least 20 people have been injured.

It is also being reported that three police officers have been injured.

Mr Rowley said the two other fatalities were on the bridge when the terrorist struck.

He told reporters outside New Scotland Yard, just yards from the scene of the attack: "This was a day we've planned for but hoped would never happen. Sadly it is now a reality."

Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

Update 5.41pm: A police officer and a pedestrian have been killed after a knifeman brought terror to the heart of Westminster.

The police officer was wheeled away on a stretcher with his face covered and sources later confirmed he had died.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from Parliament to Westminster Abbey.

Addressing the crowd, which included ministers, MPs, peers and tourists, from the pulpit a Met Police superintendent said it would take around 90 minutes to process everyone.

An email address and website was given out so eyewitnesses can upload any pictures or videos of what happened for use in evidence.

Police said people would be assessed to see if they have any information.

Update 5.30pm: Three French teenagers on a school visit to London were among those injured on Westminster Bridge.

Le Telegramme reported the students, aged between 15 and 16, were wounded in the attack with one ending up on the roof of the car.

The pupils from a school in Concarneau, Brittany, had arrived in London on Sunday evening.

A spokeswoman for the Lycee Saint-Joseph de Concarneau confirmed three students were injured but said she could give no further information.

Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande said: "Terrorism concerns us all and France knows how the British people are suffering today.

"We are doing everything to find out if French nationals have been involved."

Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

Update 5.20pm: A woman who apparently jumped into the Thames as the attacker drove across the bridge was rescued and given urgent medical treatment on a nearby pier.

A party of French schoolchildren were among those targeted on the bridge.

Eyewitness Rick Longley described the attack.

"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."

Update 5pm: At least 10 patients have been treated on Westminster Bridge and a number of hospitals are on alert, London Ambulance Service said.

MPs and Commons staff now filing out of Houses of Parliament in London.

Tourist Bernadette Kerrigan was on a bus tour when the attack happened.

She said: "We were just on top of the London Tour Bus when we were coming over the bridge and we heard what we thought were gunshots.

"We saw the car, it just piled into people and there was one person under the wheel.

"And then as you looked further along the bridge, there was people lying down and they were shot."

Emergency personnel close to the Palace of Westminster in London.
Emergency personnel close to the Palace of Westminster in London.

Update 4.55pm: Commander BJ Harrington of the Metropolitan Police said there were "a number of casualties" in the Westminster attack "including police officers".

He urged Londoners to be vigilant, said more officers would be on patrol and that anti-terrorism measures were being reviewed.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will chair a meeting of the British Government's emergency Cobra committee later today, a Downing Street spokesman said.

Update 4.50pm: Another witness, from South Africa and living in Ireland, said she and two friends went towards the palace gates and saw a man lying on the floor inside.

She said: "I saw a body, they were working on the floor. They were just inside the gates.

"He had one gunshot wound to the right side of his chest. I don't know if he was dead or alive, but people were working on him.

"I saw that he needed medical attention and I asked if I could help because I am a doctor, but they said they were fine.

"Then the police moved us back."

Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

Update 4.42pm: At least two people have died after a knifeman brought terror to the heart of Westminster in London this afternoon, mowing down pedestrians then stabbing a policeman before being shot by armed officers.

Eyewitnesses described scenes of terror as the attacker was shot several times as he approached a second officer within yards of the Houses of Parliament.

Paramedics fought to save his life and that of his victim on the floor of the cobbled courtyard in front of Parliament with Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood among those who rushed to help.

Colleen Anderson, a junior doctor at St Thomas' hospital, said a woman was killed as the attacker drove a grey Hyundai i40 across Westminster Bridge before crashing it into railings then running through the gates of the Palace of Westminster.

She also said she treated a police officer in his 30s with a head injury who had been take to King's College hospital.

She said: "I confirmed one fatality. A woman. She was under the wheel of a bus.

"She died. Confirmed her death at the scene."

Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "There has been a serious incident near to Parliament Square this afternoon which is being treated as a terrorist attack until the police know otherwise.

"I have spoken to the Acting Commissioner. The Metropolitan Police Service is dealing with the incident and an urgent investigation is under way. My thoughts are with those affected and their families.

"I would like to express my thanks to the police and emergency services who work so hard to keep us safe and show tremendous bravery in exceptionally difficult circumstances.

"For the latest information please visit news.met.police.uk."

Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

Update 4.32pm: Bradford Buck, from Connecticut in the US, saw the incident unfolding.

He said: "Police cars just kept coming one after another after another, I've never seen such a quick response. Then a little bit later the helicopter came.

"My wife and I came up from Westminster underground, we walked across to Parliament and there was a car crashed into the gate there.

"Police officers were running with machine guns, and there was a man down right next to the car."

Fearing for their safety, Mr Buck and his wife sheltered behind some concrete, before police moved them to safety.

Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

Update 4.20pm: The London Eye tourist attraction, just across the Thames from Parliament, said it was on lockdown following the attack.

A spokesman said: "At present we are holding all of our guests within our attractions as per tried and tested security procedures."

Update 4.10pm: One woman has died and a number of others have been hurt - including some with "catastrophic" injuries - in the incident on Westminster Bridge, a junior doctor at St Thomas' Hospital has said.

An announcement made in Parliament said there was a suspicious package in a vehicle and the bomb squad had been called which halted a planned evacuation.

Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

Kathy Casatelli, 58, saw a car rammed into the front gates of the palace and a man being treated on the floor.

She said: "We were coming up from the Tube and we walked out and there were officers there with their guns drawn.

"I saw this car that was smashed into the gate. It was a grey BMW, it looked like a nice car. The whole windshield was smashed.

"There was a man on the ground, it looked like he was moving. I don't know if he was the driver."

Ms Casatelli, from Syracuse in the US and on holiday in London since Saturday, said she heard that someone had been wielding a knife.

She said: "One of the officers was trying to him.

"He wasn't moving very much, I thought I saw him moving.

"I don't know if he was riding a bike and got hit. There was somebody with him and he was there with his hands on his head.

"I don't know if they were walking or biking and it hit them."

Police extended the cordon back up Broad Sanctuary beyond Westminster Abbey to the junction with Victoria Street.

Four police vans arrived at the scene at 3.40pm, as the air ambulance took off.

Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

London Ambulance Service "declared a major incident" in a statement, saying: "We were called at 2.40pm to Westminster Bridge to reports of an incident, with the first crew arriving within six minutes.

"We have sent a number of resources to the scene including ambulance crews, London's Air Ambulance and our Hazardous Area Response Team.

"We are working closely with other members of the emergency services at the scene, with our priority being to ensure patients receive the medical help they need as quickly as possible.

"We have declared a major incident and our priority is to assess patients and ensure that they are treated and taken to hospital as soon as possible.

"As we are very busy dealing with this incident, we would ask the public to only call us in a genuine emergency."

Update 3.45pm: Witness Quentin Letts said he saw a man in black attack a police officer outside the British Parliament before being shot two or three times as he tried to storm into the House of Commons.

Pic via BBC.
Pic via BBC.

"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."

Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

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."

Update 3.35pm: Scotland Yard said the attack in Westminster was being treated "as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise".

Update 3.25pm: Press Association Political Editor Andrew Woodcock witnessed the scenes unfolding from his office window overlooking New Palace Yard.

"I heard shouts and screams from outside and looked out, and there was a group of maybe 40 or 50 people running round the corner from Bridge Street into Parliament Square," said Mr Woodcock.

"They appeared to be running away from something. As the group arrived at the Carriage Gates, where policemen are posted at the security entrance, a man suddenly ran out of the crowd and into the yard. He seemed to be holding up a long kitchen knife.

"I heard what sounded like shots - I think about three of them - and then the next thing I knew there were two people lying on the ground and others running to help them. Armed police were quickly on the scene and I heard them shouting to people to get out of the Yard."

Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London.
Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London.

A witness, who did not want to be named, saw Mrs May and her undercover police detail near the area of Parliament where ministerial cars are parked.

He said there were undercover officers in a 4x4 vehicle in the car park.

"We just heard gunshots inside Parliament," he said.

"It looked like they are taking her away."

Update 3.15pm: A policeman has been stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers in a major security incident at the British Houses of Parliament.

Around three shots rang out outside the Palace of Westminster after a man ran through the gates into the front yard of the parliamentary compound apparently waving a knife.

Two people were seen being treated on the ground in New Palace Yard amid shouts and screams.

An air ambulance landed in Parliament Square and a regular ambulance came in through the front gates as medics rushed to help the injured people.

Emergency services close to the Palace of Westminster,
Emergency services close to the Palace of Westminster,

Armed police cleared the area around the incident and Parliament Square was closed to traffic.

A Downing Street source confirmed that Prime Minister Theresa May was "OK".

Mrs May was seen being ushered into a silver Jaguar car as what sounded like gunfire rang out at Parliament during the incident at around 2.45pm.

As the sitting in the House of Commons was suspended, Commons Leader David Lidington told MPs: "What I am able to say to the House is there has been a serious incident within the estate.

"It seems that a police officer has been stabbed, that the alleged assailant was shot by armed police.

Emergency personnel close to the Palace of Westminster.
Emergency personnel close to the Palace of Westminster.

"An air ambulance is currently attending the scene to remove the casualties.

"There are also reports of further violent incidents in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster but I hope colleagues on all sides will appreciate that it'd be wrong of me to go into further details until we have confirmation from the police and from the House security authorities about what is going on."

Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

Witnesses described seeing a middle-aged man carrying a knife and running.

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."

Her partner David Turner added: "There was a stampede of people running out.

"You saw the people and you thought 'what the hell is going on'."

Screengrab from a video posted on the twitter feed of @sikorskiradek of people attending to a person on Westminster Bridge, London.
Screengrab from a video posted on the twitter feed of @sikorskiradek of people attending to a person on Westminster Bridge, London.

After the incident, Radoslaw Sikorski posted a video to Twitter purporting to show people lying injured in the road on Westminster Bridge.

Mr Sikorski, a senior fellow at Harvard's Centre for European Studies, wrote: "A car on Westminster Bridge has just mowed down at least 5 people."

Earlier: Sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster.

A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said.

The House of Commons is in lockdown as emergency services deal with the situation.

Commons Leader David Lidington has told MPs a "police officer has been stabbed" and the "alleged assailant was shot by armed police" following a "serious" incident within the parliamentary estate.

The alleged assailant was shot by armed police.

A Downing Street source declined to say where British Prime Minister Theresa May had been during the attack, but said she had not been involved.

There are reports of other incidents within the vicinity of the Parliament, including one that a car had mown down a number of people in the area. These reports have not been confirmed.

Two people were seen lying within Old Palace Yard, immediately outside Westminster Hall.

Latest: Five dead, 40 injured in Westminster attack: Deceased police officer named

Scotland Yard confirmed it was called to a firearms incident on Westminster Bridge amid reports of several people injured.

A number of people are reported to have been injured on Westminster Bridge.

Between five and 12 people are reported to have been injured.

One man who says he is in an office block close to the incident said on twitter: "Just seen police shoot a man outside parliament, appeared to be wielding a knife / About five minutes we hard a bang, and then screams, from our office in the Palace of Westminster.

"We went to the window and saw a man, who appeared to be wielding a knife, enter New Palace Yard, which is inside the secure zone / It appeared that the man was attacking a police officer, then advanced into New Palace Yard.

"Armed officers moved in quickly, and shot him / Can't say more with certainty, as we witnessed this from distance, from our office window. Have been told by police to move away from window."

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