A man believed to have been wearing a fake suicide vest has been shot dead by armed police after multiple people were stabbed in an incident being treated as terror-related.
An eyewitness reported seeing a man with a machete and silver canisters on his chest being chased by an undercover officer in a busy high street in Streatham, south London.
Other eyewitnesses heard gunshots and shouting and saw a blood-covered man in the street at around 2pm today.
One said he saw a man staggering before collapsing, adding that there was a lot of blood where he had been standing.
A shocking image shows a man who appears to be motionless on the ground with what looks like a knife on the pavement nearby.
Police have confirmed the man shot by police has been pronounced dead and that the incident is being treated as terror related.
Officers say there are two injured victims and are awaiting updates on their conditons.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan issued a statement which says “terrorists seek to divide and destroy our way of life – here in London we will never let them succeed.”
Sky’s home affairs correspondent Mark White said photos appeared to show the man wearing something resembling a suicide vest.
Karker Tahir, a man who was working nearby, told Sky News the suspect was shot three times after he ignored calls to stop running.
“They kept telling him to ‘stop, stop’ but he didn’t stop and then I saw that they shot him three times.”
Police had told people in the area to leave because the man had a bomb in his bag, Mr Tahir claimed.
The deputy manager of The White Lion pub on Streatham High Street said he spotted a blood-covered man lying outside the Cash Converters.
He said he heard a gunshot outside his pub, followed by two more which sounded like they were slightly further away.
It is understood people including children took shelter in nearby shops during the incident, with police later telling shops to close for the day.
A witness told the Mirror he was with his granddaughter when the incident took place and described it as “traumatising”.
Helicopters have been seen and heard hovering above the scene.
A 19-year-old student from Streatham claimed to have witnessed the shooting.
He told the PA news agency: “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 – as they were in civilian clothing.
“The man was then shot. I think I heard three gun shots but I can’t quite remember.
“After that I ran into the library to get to safety. From the library I saw a load of ambulances and armed police officers arrive on the scene.”
He said people began running into nearby stores after the incident.
“We were all informed to stay in buildings by armed police, until we were evacuated,” he said.
Luke Woodward, 52, who lives on the street told Mirror Online residents have been ordered to remain indoors.
The dad-of-one, who has lived in the flat for nearly 10 years, said up to three men, including the suspect, suffered injuries.
Mr Woodward said: “I live directly opposite where the incident took place.
“I heard a loud bang followed by shouting. Seconds later three to five more loud bangs and a lot more shouting.
“Looked out of my window and saw a man staggering outside a cash converter opposite my flat. He seemed to walk about five yards before collapsing.
“There was a lot of blood where he had originally been standing.”
He added: “Looking right up the high street there was another man lying motionless outside Boots.
“I think these men had been followed by plain clothes police as within two to three minutes of the shooting unmarked police cars very quickly arrived and armed plain clothes jumped out.
“Shortly afterwards an armed uniformed unit arrived and approached the motionless man pointing guns at him and warning him not to move.”
One shocked local resident, a man in his 20s, said: “A bloke with a knife stabbed somebody outside the White Lion pub, and then the police shot the knifeman.
“It all happened so quickly; I can’t believe it.”
Local resident Stuart Birch, 50, a bookmaker, said: “I was just coming back from the dentists at around 2.30pm when I saw a helicopter ambulance on the Common and a police helicopter hovering above the High Street.
“Police have cordoned off a section of the main road either side of the White Lion.
“I saw customers being evacuated by the police from a coffee shop near the pub.
“Then an ambulance turned up outside the pub with horns blaring and the blue lights flashing.”
The full statement by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says: “A man has been shot dead by armed police in Streatham following an incident that is being treated as terrorism-related.
“A number of people are believed to have been stabbed.
“I am in close contact with the Met Commissioner and local representatives, and want to thank our police, security and emergency services staff for their swift and courageous response. They are truly the best of us.
“Terrorists seek to divide us and to destroy our way of life – here in London we will never let them succeed.”
Boris Johnson added: “Thank you to all emergency services responding to the incident in Streatham, which the police have now declared as terrorism-related.
“My thoughts are with the injured and all those affected.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel has praised the “brave” emergency services who are dealing with the terror-related incident in Streatham.
“I am being kept updated by Metropolitan Police on this afternoon’s incident in Streatham, which has been declared terrorist-related,” she posted on Twitter.
“My first thoughts are with the victims, our brave police and emergency services and their families.”
Streatham MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy tweeted: “Very concerned to hear about the incident on Streatham High St.
“My thoughts are with those injured, their families and those who witnessed the attack.
“The police have declared this as terrorist-related. Please avoid the area whilst emergency services continue to do their work.”
Shadow Policing minister Louise Haigh said: “Really appalling to hear about events in Streatham. Thoughts are with the victims and the first responders.
“As ever, would urge caution on any initial reporting before the facts are known.”
An initial statement by the Met Police said: “A man has been shot by armed officers in Streatham.
“At this stage it is believed a number of people have been stabbed.
“The circumstances are being assessed; the incident has been declared as terrorist-related.”
An updated statement added: “We can confirm that the man shot by police at around 2pm today in Streatham High Road has been pronounced dead.”
A spokeswoman for London Ambulance Service said: ”We were called at 1.58pm today to reports of an incident in Streatham High Road.
”We are working closely with the other emergency services and are treating a number of patients at the scene.
”We will provide more details as soon as they are available.”
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