An off-duty policeman who was injured as he tried to fend off the London Bridge terrorists would “do exactly the same again”, his family have said.
Pc Charlie Guenigault is said to have taken on the men with his bare hands, leaving him seriously injured.
A member of the Metropolitan Police’s emergency response team based in Southwark borough, the 25-year-old had been enjoying a drink after work when the attackers began their rampage.
A picture taken that night showed him smiling with friends at a bar before the horrific attack that left the country reeling.
In a statement, his family described their pride at the 25-year-old’s “immense bravery” in taking on the knife-wielding men on Saturday night.
They said: “Given the opportunity again, Charlie would no doubt do exactly the same if faced with the same situation; helping a fellow police officer in need and protecting the public.”
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On Monday, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick also spoke of her pride at the constable’s actions after he stepped in to help uniformed colleagues and members of the public.
“My understanding is that, without hesitation, wearing his normal clothes, he dived in and tried to assist, and he I’m afraid was himself severely injured, but utterly heroic,” she told the BBC.
Pc Guenigault is still recovering in hospital but is now in a stable condition, police said.
His family’s statement said: “We are extremely proud of Charlie who showed immense bravery on Saturday night.
“Our family has received numerous messages from friends, colleagues and people around the country sending Charlie good wishes and commending him for his actions.
“We are very grateful for this and it has provided us with a lot of comfort at this difficult time.
“He is immensely proud to work for the Metropolitan Police Service and serving the Southwark community, and this is an example of that.”
Telling how he was described by peers as a dedicated police officer and a diligent, hardworking and respected member of his team, they asked for privacy so they could concentrate on his recovery.
The officer’s family’s statement comes as a relative of one of the attackers, Khuram Butt, said told how he was inspired by watching videos on YouTube, was a fervent supporter of Islamic State and wanted to leave his pregnant wife to fight in Syria.
Fahad Khan, the cousin of Butt’s wife Zahrah Rehman, said he openly discussed with him his support for Islamic State and had been radicalised by watching videos on YouTube.
Mr Khan, 36, said the 27-year-old had spoken of wanting to travel to Syria to fight and had an excellent knowledge of Islamic texts.
He told reporters: “Such funny views. He said all the time that what IS is doing is quite justified.
“His arguments are always vague to me. I always tried to stay friendly and fun. I don’t take his argument very seriously because I didn’t want to have a clash with him.
“According to him IS, whatever they are doing killing innocent people, he says it is quite justified.”
Butt and accomplices Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba died in a hail of police bullets after killing eight people during their murderous spree in the capital on Saturday.
Butt, 27, was a regular at the Ummah Fitness Centre in Ilford – where he reportedly went with both Redouane and Zaghba.