London Parliament terror attack: Eyewitness describes moment 'attacker plunged big knife into police officer'

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Eyewitnesses reported seeing a car crash into crowds on Westminster Bridge (Picture: Yui Mok/PA via AP)
Eyewitnesses reported seeing a car crash into crowds on Westminster Bridge (Picture: Yui Mok/PA via AP)

An eyewitness has described the moment the man who launched a terror attack in the heart of London “plunged a big knife” into a police officer outside Parliament.

At least four people have been killed after the knifeman mowed down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and then stabbed a policeman before being shot by armed officers.

Eyewitnesses described scenes of terror as the attacker was shot several times as he approached a second officer within yards of the Houses of Parliament.

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Rick Longley told the Press Association he saw a man stab a policeman.

“We were just walking up to the station and there was a loud bang and a guy, someone, crashed a car and took some pedestrians out.

“They were just laying there and then the whole crowd just surged around the corner by the gates just opposite Big Ben.

Read more: Video shows moment shots were fired

“A guy came past my right shoulder with a big knife and just started plunging it into the policeman.

“I have never seen anything like that. I just can’t believe what I just saw.”

The incident occurred shortly after 3PM (Picture: AP)
The incident occurred shortly after 3PM (Picture: AP)

Ms Casatelli, from Syracuse in the U.S. and on holiday in London since Saturday, said she heard someone had been wielding a knife.

“One of the officers was trying to help him,” she said.

“He wasn’t moving very much, I thought I saw him moving.

“I don’t know if he was riding a bike and got hit. There was somebody with him and he was there with his hands on his head.

“I don’t know if they were walking or biking and it hit them.”

Video footage obtained by Yahoo News shows the moment gunshots were fired by police

Richard Tice recalled how he saw the car plough into a crowd after he left Westminster Station.

He said: “I came out of Westminster Underground and it was clear something dramatic had happened.

“I was ushered onto the bridge and, looking up and down, there were at least eight figures on the west pavement… and then the car crashed at the south end of the bridge.”

Policia en Londres
Paramedics tend to the injured outside Parliament (AP)
An Air Ambulance on the scene after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Houses of Parliament, (Picture: Victoria Jones/PA via AP)
An Air Ambulance on the scene after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Houses of Parliament, (Picture: Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

Journalist Quentin Letts, whose office overlooks the scene, also recalled the moment that police opened fire on the assailant.

He said: “This man had something in his hand, it looked like a stick of some sort and he was challenged by a couple of policemen in yellow jackets and one of the yellow-jacketed policemen fell down.

An armed police officer stands on Parliament Square outside of the Houses of Parliament in London, Wednesday, March 23, 2017 after the House of Commons sitting was suspended as witnesses reported sounds like gunfire outside.(Picture: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
An armed police officer stands on Parliament Square outside of the Houses of Parliament in London, Wednesday, March 23, 2017 after the House of Commons sitting was suspended as witnesses reported sounds like gunfire outside.(Picture: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

“We could see the man in black moving his arm in a way that suggested he was either stabbing or striking the yellow-jacketed policeman, and one of the policemen then ran to get help, which was very quick to come and as this attacker was running towards the entrance used by MPs to get into the House of Commons.

“He ran about 15 yards perhaps, [then] two plain clothes guys with guns shouted at him what sounded like a warning, he ignored it and they shot two or three times and he fell.’

Parliament has now been evacuated.