A 26-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after allegedly mowing down a knife attacker who had stabbed a woman in the street.
The driver ran over a 41-year-old man in Maida Vale, west London at around 9am on Monday in an apparent bid to stop the attack.
Horror unfolded as the woman, aged 43, was stabbed multiple times in Chippenham Road in front of horrified onlookers.
Witnesses desperately tried to intervene to save her, but she was fatally injured by the attacker, who police said she knew.
Mulugeta Asseratte told the PA news agency: “It is a very terrible incident.
“I was coming up from the bakery to Chippenham Road and suddenly heard shouts of ‘stop it, stop it’ and it was a girl being attacked by a gentleman.
“I tried to look and even say ‘stop it’ and it would not.
“All of a sudden it moved to the street and no sooner than they reached the street than a driver came and hit both of them.
“We were all shocked and shouting and my heart goes out to the families of this fatal incident.
“This is something one sees in movies, not in real life.”
Police, ambulance crews and the fire service, who freed the injured man as he was trapped underneath the car, were all called to the scene, but both he and the woman were pronounced dead.
Raad Jiyad, 52, told the Evening Standard that he had tried to distract the attacker despite the fact that he had a large knife.
He told the newspaper: “I saw a man over a woman with a knife, I saw the blade. I heard her screaming in pain.
“I wanted to try and make him come towards me instead to buy her some time. We tried to save her.
“He had this big knife so no-one wanted to go near. Then this car came through and ran him over.
“It was all over so quickly. He went completely under the car. I think the driver was just trying to buy time to distract him.”
UPDATE | Detectives from the Specialist Crime Command are investigating following the deaths of a woman and a man – who we believe were known to each other – in Maida Vale. Enquiries are under way to establish the full circumstances.
Read more here: https://t.co/5cTja9Y1gn
— MPS Westminster (@MPSWestminster) January 24, 2022
Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood said: “This was a terrible incident that occurred in broad daylight on a busy London street. It also appears that a number of members of the public bravely tried to intervene to stop the attack.
“A man has been arrested in relation to the case; we are not aware of any links between this man and the two deceased. I can also confirm that we are not currently looking for anyone else in connection to this incident.
“A team of detectives are working to establish the circumstances of the incident and I would ask the public to avoid speculating on what may have happened while these initial enquiries take place.
“A number of people have already come forward, but we are still asking for anyone to make contact with us. Any information could be vital in helping us understand why this dreadful incident happened.”
The families of the man and woman who died have now been told.
Witnesses can call police on 101 quoting the reference 1496/24jan, or to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or online.