Four people, including a police officer and an assailant, died Wednesday in what London police say they are treating as a “terrorist incident” near the Houses of Parliament.
The incident began around 2:40 p.m. in the Westminster area of central London when an attacker drove a vehicle into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. The vehicle then crashed into a fence at the Houses of Parliament, at which point the attacker exited the vehicle and fatally stabbed an officer, police said during a press conference.
Police opened fire on the attacker, killing him. Two pedestrians died on the bridge and at least 20 people were injured.
Authorities placed the legislative building and surrounding area, including Westminster Bridge, on lockdown in the minutes after the attack. Those areas were later evacuated.
London Metropolitan Police Cmdr. B.J. Harrington told reporters there are a “number of casualties, including police officers,” but he was unprepared to give a specific number or comment on the severity of injuries.
“Officers — including firearms officers — remain on the scene and we are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise,” Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command is leading the investigation, Harrington said.
He said Craig Mackey, the acting commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, was at the scene of the incident and is being considered a “significant witness.”
Within minutes of shots being fired, eight armed undercovered police rushed British Prime Minister from Parliament to a waiting vehicle.
By Ed Adamczyk and Danielle Haynes