A man in a suit was slashed in the face by a knifeman outside the Home Office in Westminster where armed police swooped on the scene and a cordon was put in place after the victim, who was allegedly in his 60’s, reportedly went into the building for help.
Climactic photos reveal a man with a bloodied face nursing an injury as he was escorted out by paramedics, and Scotland Yard has detained a 29-year-old man on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and ownership of CS spray.
An eyewitness reported seeing blood-soaked tissues in the entrance hall of the Government building, but police are keeping an open mind on motive and have not yet ruled out terrorism, and there have been unconfirmed rumours that the victim was a member of Home Office staff and that he was targeted because he was wearing his pass.
It has further been alleged that before the attack, a man asked a woman if she worked in the building, and it was alleged that he had an albino ferret in a pet transporter with him.
Police initially said the victim had been left with life-threatening injuries but have since established his wounds were not life-threatening or life-changing, and Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted that her thoughts were with the victim and their family following the horrific unprovoked knife attack on Marsham Street.
Police officers on motorbikes and paramedics appeared on the scene at about 1.20pm, and observers claim the person who stabbed the victim ran off.
The victim was seen being brought out and taken away in an ambulance, and eyewitnesses at the scene said: The gentleman who was escorted out by paramedics looked to have a black shirt partially on, with blood down his front, possibly from his face, and it looked like his clothing had been removed to possibly check for other injuries.
An office worker opposite, who requested to remain nameless, described seeing a man, thought to be the perpetrator, walk calmly down the road after the incident.
He was standing over there outside the Home Office and then he was putting something away in his bag, but I didn’t see a knife or anything. He was putting something away and then he just calmly walked off down the road as if nothing had happened. Then people were being asked to go into the Home Office, they were being ushered in.
A barista working opposite the headquarters said she noticed the man full of blood wandering out of the Government building. She said the victim appeared to be in his 50s and was not wearing a shirt as he walked out with police. He had just trousers, nothing on top. He was full of blood. He was escorted by police and paramedics. I saw just the police when the police came. He was coming out from the building, the officers came in and took him out.
Eyewitness Guy Ellis, 54, further reported seeing a man remove a long knife from his bag before the incident. He said: I was sat outside the Home Office waiting for a friend to meet for lunch and on the other side of the entrance I just saw a bloke take a knife out of his bag, and just wander up the path, stop in front of two girls who were just sat there having a chat, and then he wandered back and turned around and crossed the road very calmly and merged into the crowd.
A second cordon was in place around the entrance of St John’s Smith Square, a few minutes walk away, where a knife sheathing could be seen, and a train ticket to Birmingham, a cap of pepper spray, a pager and a pair of glasses, as well as a rucksack and cat carrier, lie nearby.
Police was called at 13.06 to Marsham Street, Westminster following the description of a man with a knife. Officers attended to discover one man with knife injuries.
London Ambulance Service attended to treat the wounded man, and one man has been detained and is in custody. The building was not evacuated.
The man was taken to a major trauma centre where he got medical care, but this is a genuinely troubling incident.