Hainault sword attack: Boy, 14, dies and four others injured in rampage

Hainault sword attack: Boy, 14, dies and four others injured in rampage

A 14-year-old boy has died after a man wielding a sword attacked five people including two police officers in east London.

The officers and two members of the public remain in hospital following the stabbings in Hainault.

None of their injuries are believed to be life-threatening but both police have ”significant injuries” and require surgery.

A 36-year-old suspect - who was Tasered by police at the scene - has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, and is also in hospital.

Police said on Tuesday afternoon that the suspect was injured when his van collided with a building.

Due to his injuries, police have not yet been able to interview him.

Chief Superintendent Stuart Bell said: “It is with great sadness that I confirm that one of those injured in the incident, a 14-year-old boy, has died from their injuries.

“He was taken to hospital after being stabbed and sadly died a short while after.

Doorbell footage appeared to show the man being Tasered (PA Wire)
Doorbell footage appeared to show the man being Tasered (PA Wire)

“The child’s family are being supported. Firstly by my local officers and now with specialist officers and everyone across the Met is keeping them in our thoughts at this unimaginably difficult time.”

Providing an update on Tuesday afternoon Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe said police have found “no trace of a prior incident” involving the suspect, after speculation about his background, including police contact with him.

“Despite urgent and extensive checks today we're found no trace of a prior incident involving [the suspect],” she said.

“As a matter of urgency we're trying to work out exactly what happened, and why. It will take us some time to establish the facts.”

Dramatic footage from a doorbell security camera, obtained by the PA news agency, captured the suspect being cornered and Tasered by officers, as he brandished a sword on the front driveway of a home.

The video showed officers shout at the suspect, saying “Don’t move, don’t f****** move” after he was brought to the ground by three separate Taser discharges.

The words “suspect contained” could be heard as a female officer pulled the sword away from the attacker.

The Metropolitan Police and other emergency services were called shortly before 7am to reports of a van being driven into a house in Thurlow Gardens, near to Hainault Underground station.

Witness James Fernando, 39, described the horrific moment the boy was stabbed, saying: “I saw a guy get out of a grey Transit after crashing into a house.

“I saw him struck a boy with the sword. Police turned up and he ran. I stood next next to the boy. It looked like he was gone. I was in total shock.

“He was in sports clothes. I can’t stop seeing the boy’s face.”

A man was seen wielding a sword (X / @ell_pht)
A man was seen wielding a sword (X / @ell_pht)

Residents awoke to “piercing screams” and a man “covered in blood” outside their homes a short distance from Hainault Tube station.

The London Ambulance Service said five people were taken to hospital following the attack.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan visited Hainault on Tuesday afternoon and met with MP Wes Streeting, and Redbridge Council Leader Jas Athwal.

He was briefed by the Met, and urged anyone with information about the perpetrator to come forward.

Footage at the scene showed a man with what appeared to be a samurai sword.

The cordoned off scene on Tuesday morning (Getty Images)
The cordoned off scene on Tuesday morning (Getty Images)

A large police presence was seen in the area.

A neighbour who witnessed the incident told the Standard: “I woke up this morning to a crash. A van had driven straight into the side of the house opposite me.

“I then heard a load of screaming and it turned out a fella who had gone to see if the bloke was okay got stabbed in the neck by the driver.

“The driver then got back in his car and reversed out the side of the house to drive up the back road opposite where it all started kicking off.”

The scene in Hainault on Tuesday (X / @petekingdom)
The scene in Hainault on Tuesday (X / @petekingdom)

The neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, described how “people ran and screamed as he was waving his samurai sword threatening civilians” before he was cornered by police.

Another resident in Hainault said she saw a body on the ground as she hid by her window while a man wielding a sword shouted "do you believe in God?" outside her house.

The resident from Laing Close, who did not wish to be named, told PA she saw a man standing outside her home next to a body and holding a sword in front of two unarmed police and an ambulance.

Forensic investigators in Laing Close in Hainault after a 14-year-old boy died (PA Wire)
Forensic investigators in Laing Close in Hainault after a 14-year-old boy died (PA Wire)

She said: "He was wielding his sword trying to attack the police but then they sprayed him and he ran away.

"He was shouting at the police 'do you believe in God?', also at the ambulance.”

Daniel Garfinkle, who lives outside the station, told the MailOnline: “I woke up at 7am to lots of shouting.  There was a guy outside covered in blood, near the station and outside my home.

“Police were trying to calm down the man who carried out the stabbing. But he went towards the station. He kept shouting.”

Evening Standard Front Page (Evening Standard)
Evening Standard Front Page (Evening Standard)

Footage shared with the BBC shows police in pursuit of the suspect.

The suspect is seen climbing on the roof of a garage before entering someone's garden. "Lock your doors," the bystander who's filming shouts.

Manpreet Singh told the BBC he saw a "group of people, five or six of them, trying to fight off a guy - he had a sword in his hand".

A resident in Thurlow Gardens, who wished to remain anonymous, told PA the attacker was tasered in his garden.

They said the attacker jumped over the fence before being held down by police, and the householder had submitted CCTV to the authorities.

The resident's neighbour, who also wanted to remain anonymous, witnessed the arrest. He added: "He was being tasered, went to the floor with all the armed police officers around and he was subdued there for half an hour.

"I think he mentioned something about God and attempted murder. He was quite resisting."

A witness also told BBC Radio 5 Live he saw the suspect be Tasered.

The scene near a sword attack is cordoned off (Getty Images)
The scene near a sword attack is cordoned off (Getty Images)

Chris, who only gave his first name and who lives in Thurlow Gardens, said: “He ran through the gardens and came out on to the street by the house next door to me.

"The police were there. He then ran down to two doors down, and tried to get on the sort of scaffold, and they Tasered him and took him down, and he had a big samurai sword.

"Like a big sword, like a Japanese looking sword. It wasn't a small knife.

"I saw it all from my bedroom window."

Another witness said there appeared to be a stand-off between police and the suspect in an alleyway before he heard a woman scream.

The man, who asked not to be named, told PA: "I also heard the words 'he's got a massive knife', or 'he's got a massive sword'.

Police at the scene in Hainault, north east London (Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)
Police at the scene in Hainault, north east London (Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)

"Then he disappeared down this alley and then he was out of sight.

"They (the police) went into the alley and there seemed to be some sort of a stand-off there where I heard this huge commotion, then I heard a scream.

"From that commotion at least one person was knifed - I think it might have been a woman because I heard a woman scream and then some sort of sobbing sounds.

"I then heard a voice say something like 'she's been stabbed in the face' or 'we need assistance' - you know, calling for medical back-up."

Ray Leigh Mason woke up to shouting and screaming at around 6.50am.

He told The Standard that he heard “something along the lines of ‘there’s nothing you can do mate’.”

Mr Mason said he would usually have been outside at this time but had decided to stay in bed for an extra 15 minutes.

He explained he “went into autopilot” and tried to leave for work despite the violence outside.

With Hainault Station closed, Mr Mason was escorted to Fairlop Station.

He went on to say members of his local community would likely find the morning “shocking” and feel “unsafe” afterwards.

Following the attack the King said his thoughts and prayers were with all those affected by the "horrific" Hainault stabbings, "in particular, the family of the young victimwho has lost his life".A Buckingham Palace spokesperson added that Charles “salutes the courage of the emergency services who helped contain the situation" and that he had asked to be kept fully informed as details of the incident become clearer.

A car believed to involved in the attack was seen at the scene (Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)
A car believed to involved in the attack was seen at the scene (Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said his thoughts were with those affected in the attack and their families following the “shocking incident”.

He posted on X: “I'd like to thank the emergency services for their ongoing response, and pay tribute to the extraordinary bravery shown by police on the scene.“Such violence has no place on our streets.”

Labour MP for Ilford North Wes Streeting said a “critical incident” has been declared following the incident asking for people not to speculate or post footage on social media “until details are confirmed.”

He said in a statement: “A critical incident has been declared in Hainault. There are station and road closures in place. The Police, Ambulance Service and Fire Brigade are responding.

“One male detained.

“I would urge people not to speculate until details are confirmed or post footage on social media.”

The MP added in a separate statement: "I want to thank the emergency services for their response to the horrific incident in my constituency this morning, particularly the heroic Metropolitan Police officers who put themselves in harm's way to protect others. They are the best of us.

"My prayers are with those who've been injured and their loved ones.

"I know there will be widespread fear and alarm in our community, but the police have made an arrest and are not looking for other suspects.”

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan said: "This must have been a terrifying incident for those concerned.

"I know the wider community will be feeling shock and alarm.

"People will want to know what has happened and will we provide more information as soon as we can.”

The police spokesperson added: “We do not believe there is any ongoing threat to the wider community. We are not looking for more suspects. This incident does not appear to be terror-related.”

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan had been due to join journalists on a visit to a building site in the Royal Docks, where he was expecting to be quizzed on his housing plans.

But reporters were told after arriving that Mr Khan would not be joining them, as his focus was entirely on receiving updates about the situation in Hainault.

Mr Khan later told Sky News: “It breaks my heart this child has lost his life.”

He said in an earlier statement: “I am absolutely devastated by the news from Hainault this morning. I remain in constant contact with the Commissioner.

“A man has been arrested and the area secured. The police are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.

“There will be additional reassurance patrols in the area. The police officers and emergency services showed the best of our city - running towards danger to protect others and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

Police is talking to the public at the scene in Hainault (Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)
Police is talking to the public at the scene in Hainault (Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)

“I would urge people not to speculate until the details of this incident are confirmed by the police and avoid posting footage on social media.”

Conservative mayoral candidate Susan Hall said: "This is truly devastating and heartbreaking, and my thoughts are with the family of the young boy who lost his life today and with those who were injured. I cannot imagine the grief of losing a child at such a young age and our hearts go out to them.

"I also want to commend the bravery of the police officers who put their lives on the line to stop the attacker, and the ambulance workers who attended the scene and helped the victims. I would encourage any witnesses to speak to the police to help with their investigation."

Home Secretary James Cleverly confirmed he is being regularly updated about the incident.

He said: “My thoughts are with those who have been affected & thank you to the emergency responders“I would urge people not to speculate or share footage online and provide relevant information to the police.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer posted on X: “Awful news coming from Hainault. “Our thoughts are with the victims. Thankful for the first responders on the scene.”

Forensics at the scene in Hainault (Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)
Forensics at the scene in Hainault (Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)

The Metropolitan Police Federation, representing rank-and-file officers, said: “Wishing our colleagues and all injured in this horrific incident well.

“Another sad reminder of the incredible bravery our officers display and the dangers they face to keep the public in London safe day in and day out.”

The British Transport Police told the Standard: “Officers were called to the area near Hainault underground station at 7.07am today (30 April) to assist Metropolitan Police.

“Officers are currently in attendance. The station is closed and a cordon is in place."

::Earlier reports from the Metropolitan Police said the boy who died was 13 years old. This has since been clarified by police who have confirmed he was 14 years old.