The British Parliament was on lockdown Wednesday after a police officer was stabbed, and his assailant shot, outside of the complex in London. The violence reportedly began on Westminster Bridge, where it appears a 4x4 truck ran over pedestrians. The driver reportedly swerved onto the sidewalk, taking down people, and then is believed to have crashed his vehicle into the gates outside the Palace of Westminster.
Scotland Yard is treating this as a “terrorist incident,” reports the Guardian. At least four people have been killed, including the police officer, who died from his stab wounds, and the knife-wielding attacker. Two other people were killed in the bridge rampage. Officials said at least 20 people were hurt, including some who are suffering “catastrophic” injuries. According to the BBC, a woman was also pulled alive, but seriously injured, from the River Thames.
The bloody scene on Westminster Bridge appears to have preceded the stabbing outside Parliament. Reports say that at least one man got out of the vehicle with a knife after it crashed into the gates, and raced through the New Palace Yard toward the officers on duty. He slashed one policeman, and then appeared to lunge for another before being shot by police. It is still unclear if the driver of the 4x4 and the knife-wielding assailant are the same person, but police “currently believe there was only one attacker.”
Images have cropped on U.K. media that appear to show the attacker being treated by first responders after being shot. Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the suspect.
One Reuters photographer recorded video after people had reportedly been “mowed down” on Westminster Bridge. His footage shows people, apparently injured, sprawled in the middle of the road.
British MP David Lidington described the then-unfolding situation as a “serious incident” in a statement. “It seems that a police officer has been stabbed; that the alleged assailant was shot by armed police.” He added that there were reports of “further violent incidents in the vicinity.” Prior reports of gunshots were likely those of law-enforcement firing on the attacker.
The Westminster tube station has reportedly been closed as a precaution. Law enforcement is still swarming the area, and is warning the public to stay away as the investigation continues. Police officials would not confirm that incident was “over,” but the situation appears to have stabilized. Members of Parliament have reportedly been evacuated to Westminster Abbey.
Prime Minister Theresa May was reportedly inside the chamber at the time of the attack, but was quickly escorted away by security and is safe.
President Donald Trump earlier told reporters that he had gotten an update about London, and said “big news, just happened.” Later, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed that Trump had been briefed, and had spoken to Prime Minister May. “We obviously condemn today’s attack in Westminster, which the United Kingdom is treating as an act of terrorism,” Spicer said.
This post has been updated throughout.