Dramatic footage shows armed police approaching the suspected Streatham terrorist today and suddenly backing off after they spotted a fake suicide vest.
The suspect is seen lying face down on the pavement as undercover officers train their guns on him. A police SUV then speeds down the south London high street and brakes suddenly in the middle of the road.
Three officers leap from the marked car, approach the suspect with handguns drawn and appear to be examining him before they rush back.
‘Move, move, move,’ one of the officers shouts as his colleagues move away.
The knife-wielding attacker had injured three people before he was shot dead in what Scotland Yard has called a ‘terrorist-related incident’ at around 2pm.
Officers in a marked police SUV stop suddenly in the middle of the street (left) before getting out of the vehicle as the prepare to approach the suspect who is lying face down on the pavement on Sunday afternoon on Streatham high road
Four police officers can be seen inspecting the suspect lying on the ground (left) before they rush back, one of them is seen running (right)
Photos from the scene show a lifeless body face down on the pavement with what have been described as ‘silver canisters’ strapped to his chest with a large knife is lying beside him
Dozens of other uniformed officers rushed to the scene, as well as ambulances.
The suspect had silver canisters strapped to his chest and was said to be carrying a machete. Police officers told people in the area to leave and evacuated nearby shops over fears the suspect was wearing a suicide vest.
Scotland Yard said the broad-daylight carnage was a ‘terror-related incident’ around an hour after first reports from the scene. The area remains on emergency police shutdown.
The Metropolitan Police said this evening: ‘Three people are known to have been injured in the Streatham attack earlier this afternoon. One person is at hospital in a life-threatening condition. We are in the process of informing their family.
‘A second victim was treated for minor injuries at the scene before being taken to hospital.
‘A third victim has been taken to hospital – their condition is not life-threatening.’
London Ambulance Service Strategic Commander Graham Norton said earlier: ‘We were called at 1.58pm today to reports of an incident in Streatham High Road.
Armed police have shot dead a suspected terrorist feared to be wearing a suicide vest after he grabbed a knife from a shop and stabbed a man and a woman during a brutal high-street rampage in south London
Officers raced to the scene outside a supermarket on High Road in Streatham at around 2pm today following reports of gunfire
‘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.’
Student Rafe Askem was walking along the High Road when he heard a man shouting ‘ahh’ and then saw the victim bleeding.
The 21-year-old said he saw two boys pushing a man against some shutters and heard a shout before looking over to see blood on the floor.
The student said: ‘I saw somebody getting stabbed. It all happened very quickly.
‘Then I just heard shouting and I saw people running. I saw him bleeding out.
‘He didn’t say anything. All I heard was him shouting out “ahh.”‘
A 19-year-old student claimed that he saw undercover officers pursuing the man before firing three shots outside a Boots store.
He said: ‘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.’
Police were filmed standing behind an unmarked police car and pointing their guns towards a suspect who appeared to be lying on the pavement outside the Boots store on the high street
Scotland Yard declared the broad daylight carnage as a terror-related incident around an hour after first reports from the scene
In one video, police toting machine guns and masked undercover officers are seen approaching the suspect’s body before rapidly moving away from the area
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.
Dozens of emergency vehicles lined the area and an air ambulance landed on Tooting Bec Common a few hundred yards from the scene of the shooting.
London Ambulance Service said at the time: ‘We have a number of resources attending an incident in Streatham High Road.’
A large section of the A23 remains sealed off to traffic as buses continue to be diverted.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has since tweeted about the attack.
He said: ‘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.’
He is expected to return from Chequers to Downing Street this evening to respond to the attack.
Dozens of emergency vehicles are currently lining the area as well as reports of an air ambulance and police helicopter circling above
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.’
An armed police officer was standing guard in Streatham after the scene had been fully contained by officers earlier this afternoon
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, also wrote a statement which read: ‘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 wanted to thank our police, security and emergency services staff for their swift and courageous response.
‘They truly are 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.’
Labour leadership favourite Sir Keir Starmer added: ‘Shocking reports from Streatham. My thoughts are with everyone affected.
‘Huge thanks to our emergency services for everything they do to keep us safe.
And Home Secretary Priti Patel wrote: ‘I am being kept updated by @metpoliceuk on this afternoon’s incident in Streatham, which has been declared terrorist-related.
‘My first thoughts are with the victims, our brave police and emergency services and their families.’
Similarly, Health Secretary Matt Hancock wrote: ‘All our gratitude goes to the NHS paramedics and emergency services who responded so rapidly to today’s incident in Streatham.
‘Thinking of everyone involved. We must never be divided by terrorism.’
Jack Odell, 28, from Streatham told MailOnline: ‘Police came and knocked on the door and told us to evacuate.
‘They just told us to move away from the area. I only saw what was pictured in my tweet of the junction.’
Cars come to a standstill in Streatham after armed police officers stand guard (left). A police officer outside an Iceland store in Streatham (right)
One officer was filmed telling pedestrians that the suspect was wearing a possible suicide vest before directing them away from the scene. Pictured: Pedestrians ducking under the cordon
Mr Odell said officers did not say when he could return to his property.
Richard Mustonen-Smith, 59, a response pastor for Ascension Trust, has lived in the area all his life.
He said: ‘I’m shocked it’s happened in Streatham. I’ve been here all my life. We’re always getting accidents down here but not this.
‘My grandson was in the Odeon and they got told to go out the back because there was a bomb. They got them to go out of the back of the cinema. They were there to watch a film.
‘When it’s a member of your family so close to you you don’t expect it. You’re always worried about your family being on the streets but this is even worse.
‘I heard two people got stabbed and apparently one man was shouting Allahu Akbar but people thought he was just a crazy man, so he got away. Apparently he had two rucksacks.’
A 33-year-old woman who lives near the scene also MailOnline how she was locked in a nearby Odeon for 20 minutes after the attack, before being rushed out a fire exit round the back.
She said officers came in and ordered them to stand well away from the windows.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to return from Chequers to Downing Street this evening to respond to the attack. Pictured: Police swarmed the high street after reports of gunfire
Metropolitan Police tweeted: ‘We can confirm that the man shot by police at around 2pm today in #Streatham High Road has been pronounced dead’. Pictured: Streatham High Road
She continued: ‘I heard it and just thought it was a car backfiring. Everyone did.
‘I ran into the Odeon just down the road. There were quite a few people in there. Only a few ran inside to start with.’
She said staff shut the doors. ‘Everyone just thought it was a car.’
She said another woman locked in the cinema, who had been on the way to Poundland, witnessed the shooting and was shaking with fear.
‘She thought it was a gang shooting because the two men were dressed all in black.
‘She was really shaking, she was quite distressed and was panicking and all over the place.’
The woman ran upstairs in the cinema before people were let out the back.
She said she sprinted home as police cars ‘zoomed around the area and helicopters circled above’.
She had to take a scenic route back home due to the main road being sealed off.
Members of the public have been commenting on social media.
Four police cars and 12 officers were pictured taking control of the scene on High Road in Streatham earlier today. The incident has since been contained
Rector Anna Norman-Walker, who works at St Leonard’s Church in Streatham, said: ‘Situated in the #Streatham Rectory with police tape both sides of us… prayers for our wonderful police who are doing such a remarkable job in a frightening situation.’
One user wrote: ‘What the hell is going on in Streatham?!? Helicopters circling above and sirens outside. Twitter saying a man has been shot dead. ‘It’s a Sunday afternoon and families are everywhere. Very scary.’
Another added: ‘Be careful out today I’m London, just seen about two dozen armed police, a man shot and a two stab victims receiving urgent medical care.
‘I don’t know but I think like I heard 3 gun shot in Streatham.’
A third man said: ‘Something major happening in Streatham High Road. Armed police and roads closed off.’
Emma Taylor, from Streatham Hill, told Sun Online: ‘I was walking up the high street after going for brunch with some friends and we saw a woman screaming outside a small hardware shop next to Iceland.’
She said the distressed woman, who owns a hardware shop, shouted ‘he’s just grabbed a knife from my shop and stabbed a lady.’
The 31-year-old said the woman was just five yards in front her being treated by paramedics.
Police cars are seen at the scene surrounding the police cordons. London Ambulance Service Strategic Commander Graham Norton said: ‘We were called at 1.58pm today to reports of an incident in Streatham High Road’
Dozens of emergency vehicles are currently lining the area and a helicopter ambulance landed on Tooting Bec Common a few hundred yards from the scene of the shooting
A car believed to be an armed response car that crashed on the way to the scene as officers investigate the incident
Ms Taylor described how there were armed police everywhere and said the woman being treated was in ‘pure shock’.
Dave Chawner tweeted to say: ‘I had to stay with someone who’d just been #stabbed in #Streatham for 30 minutes before a single ambulance arrived.
‘I’m just over one mile from a hospital – I’m not having a go at anyone but that’s not right.
‘I just hope he made it.’
Speaking to Sky TV later, he said: ‘In that moment I did not think it was a terrorist attack, I did not think it was anything out of the ordinary, until I saw the guns…
‘My only concern was the poor person in the street.‘
Rory Stewart, who is an Independent candidate for Mayor of London in the upcoming 2020 election, responded to Mr Chawner’s post.
He wrote: ‘So much respect for your courage and presence of mind – remember to get to counselling immediately – at least have a chance to calmly talk it through.
‘All my respect and best wishes.’