London’s Metropolitan police said Friday that an officer shot and killed a man wearing a fake explosive device following a stabbing incident near London Bridge.
Neil Basu, assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said authorities are treating it as terror-related but would “retain an open mind as to any motive.” He said the suspect died at the scene.
The ordeal unfolded after police were called to a stabbing incident near the London Bridge shortly before 1 p.m.
Video posted on social media showed several people wrestling with a man wielding a knife at one end of the busy bridge that links the city’s business district with the south bank of the River Thames.
As officers pulled people out of the fray, one officer shot and killed the suspect.
Basu said there were concerns the man, who was not identified, might be wearing explosives, but that police “believe a device strapped to the body of the suspect is a hoax explosive device.”
He said Officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command are now leading this investigation.
He confirmed that several people were injured during the fracas but did not indicate the severity of the wounds or the number of victims.
London Bridge was the scene of a June 2017 attack when Islamic State-inspired attackers ran down people on the bridge, killing two, before stabbing several people to death in nearby Borough Market.
The BBC reported that its correspondent, John McManus, was at the scene at the time and saw a group fighting on the bridge, with several men attacking one man.
“Police then quickly arrived, including armed police, and then a number of shots were fired at this man,” McManus said.
The Guardian newspaper quoted staff at the nearby Monument underground station as confirming that five people were injured in the attack. The station was closed following the ordeal as police swarmed the area.
The incident brought cars and trucks to a standstill on the busy bridge. Video footage showed police pointing guns at one truck before moving to check its container.
One witness, Amanda Hunter said she was on a bus crossing the bridge when she heard shots.
The bus “all of a sudden stopped and there was commotion and I looked out the window and I just saw these three police officers going over to a man,” she told the BBC.
“It seemed like there was something in his hand, I’m not 100% sure, but then one of the police officers shot him.”
In a video posted on social media, two men can be seen struggling on the bridge before officers pull a man in civilian clothes off a black-clad man who is on the ground.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the “horrendous incident” and called on people to “stay strong and united in the face of terror.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been out campaigning for parliamentary elections, returned to London following the incident.
In March 2017, an attacker fatally struck four people with a car on nearby Westminster Bridge then fatally stabbed a police officer before security forces shot and killed him in a courtyard outside Parliament.
Contributing: Associated Press