A MAN wearing a hoax explosive device has been shot dead on London Bridge by police after several people were stabbed.
Panicked Londoners fled Borough Market in a ‘stampede’ after gunshots were heard on London Bridge this afternoon.
Neil Basu, the head of UK counter-terrorism policing, declared the attack as a ‘terror incident’ but said police were keeping an open mind about the motive.
He said: ‘At approximately 2pm today, police were called to a stabbing at a premises near London Bridge.
‘Emergency services attended including officers from the City of London Police and Metropolitan Police.
‘A male suspect was shot by specialist armed officers from City of London Police and I can confirm that this suspect died at the scene.’
He added: ‘Due to reports that the suspect might have had an explosive device, specialist officers attended the scene.
‘However, I can confirm at this time we believe a device that was strapped to the body of the suspect is a hoax explosive device.’
Mr Basu said he would give updates to the families of those injured ‘as soon as we can get that information’.
‘A number of other people received injuries during this incident. As soon as we can provide further updates on their condition, we will,’ he told the press conference.
A video posted to social media showed a male, apparently the suspect, grappling with other men.
He tried to get up from the floor, then collapsed to the ground, after being hit by what appeared to be gunfire.
Another video filmed from a nearby bus showed the apparent suspect being shot as he lay on the ground. A man in a suit and jacket could be seen running from him, having retrieved a large knife.
After at least two shots rang out, passengers could be heard screaming, with one shouting: ‘What the f***, they’ve killed him.’
A man who works across the road from Borough Market said he heard reports of a man with a knife who had been shot by police.
‘A lorry crossed over into both lanes and police were shooting at it from both sides,’ he said.
‘Apparently there was an assailant with a knife. They’ve taped past our office now and we can’t get in.’
As reports of an attacker on the bridge spread on social media, armed police descended on the area, cordoning off the market and telling concerned onlookers to push back up the road towards Southwark.
A police helicopter could be seen overhead, as tourists and workers frantically phoned loved ones to tell them that they were safe.
Some business owners in Borough Market were forced to leave their stores unattended and flee, while others opened their doors to let people come in and hide.
Dean Toomey, the manager of hardware store Leyland SDM, encouraged bystanders to shelter in his shop, placing a hammer by the entrance in case an attacker entered.
He said: ‘We just saw a stampede of people coming in, we just tried to lock ourselves in and offer a bit of shelter as and when we can.
‘It’s the right thing to do — it’s the only thing we knew what to do.
‘Lessons learned from last time. We were closed then, but certainly thought went into it after last time.
‘It was a proper stampede going past here, and the police started shouting at everyone to run not walk.’
Prime minister Boris Johnson tweeted: ‘I want to thank the emergency services and members of the public for their immense bravery in responding to this suspected terrorist attack at London Bridge. This is an appalling incident and all my thoughts are with the victims and their families.’