Three men are being commended as heroes after they used a fire extinguisher and a narwhal tusk to pin down the man who killed two people in a knife attack on London Bridge on Friday.
Dramatic video captured at the scene shows three men take the man armed with knives to the ground.
The footage shows one man wielding a fire extinguisher spray the man, as another pokes him with a long narwhal tusk. A third grabs the man, throwing him to the ground.
According to a Guardian report, it is believed the tusk — a long, sharp tooth — was pulled from the wall of Fishmongers’ Hall, a nearby building, by a Polish chef named Lucasz.
In a tweet, witness Amy Coop said she was at the hall and saw the man take the “5 ft narwhal tusk” from the wall, before he “went out to confront the attacker.”
“You can see him standing over the man (with what looks like a white pole) in the video,” she wrote. “We were trying to help victims inside but that man’s a hero.”
In another video captured at the scene, three police are seen pushing the members of the public away before the suspect was shot by officers.
In an update provided early Saturday morning, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu identified the suspect as 28-year-old Usman Khan from Staffordshire.
Basu said Khan died at the scene.
According to the update, Khan was convicted of terrorism offences in 2012 and was known to police.
“He was released from prison in December 2018 on license and clearly, a key line of enquiry now is to establish how he came to carry out this attack,” Basu said in the statement.
Basu said the Khan had attended an event at Fishmonger’s Hall called “Learning Together” earlier in the afternoon.
“We believe that the attack began inside before he left the building and proceeded onto London Bridge,” Basu said. ” Where he was detained and subsequently confronted and shot by armed officers.”
According to police, two others — a man and a woman — were killed in the attack. Officers have not yet released their identities.
Five others were injured.
Basu said “extensive cordons” are likely to remain in place for “some time,” as police investigate, but added that there is “no outstanding threat to the public.”
Islamic State said the attack was carried out by one of its fighters, the group’s Amaq news agency reported on Saturday. The group did not provide any evidence.
It added that the attack was made in response to Islamic State calls to target countries that have been part of a coalition fighting the jihadist group.
Thomas Gray, a 24-year-old tour manager was one of several men who helped to suppress Khan.
“I did what any Londoner would do and tried to put a stop to it,” he told the Guardian.
Gray told the paper that he and a colleague were driving across the bridge when he saw people running.
He said by the time they reached the scene, the attacker had already been taken to the ground by “five or six” other men.
Gray said the man had two knives, one in each hand, that looked like they were “taped to his hands.”
“I stamped on his left wrist while someone else smacked his hand on the ground and kicked one of the knives away,” he told The Guardian.
Another man, Craig Heathcote, told BBC Radio 4 Today that he was walking across the bridge on his lunch break when he heard screaming.
“A man appeared in front of me and started screaming that there was someone with a knife, then I realized something was happening,” he said.
He recalled seeing what looked like a “big scuffle happening,” and what sounded like “hundreds of people screaming.”
He said that is when he called police.
“While I was on the phone I think a car appeared,” he recounted. “It was either the first response or by chance a car driving across the bridge.”
He told the BBC that someone jumped out and waved them down.
“Two armed officers jumped out and took over the situation.”
Another witness, Karen Bosch, told The Associated Press that she was on a bus crossing the bridge when she saw police “wrestling with one tall, bearded man.”
She said she then heard “gunshots, two loud pops.”
Bosch said the man “pulled his coat back which showed that he had some sort of vest underneath, whether it’s a stab vest, or some sort of explosive vest, the police then really quickly moved backwards, away.”
Police have confirmed what was strapped to Khan’s chest was, in fact, a “hoax device.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan thanked the members of the public for their “breath-taking heroism.”
“What’s remarkable about the images we’ve seen is the breathtaking heroism of members of the public who literally ran towards danger and confronted him,” he told reporters Friday evening.
“They really are the best of us,” he continued. “Another example of the bravery and heroism of ordinary Londoners running towards danger, risking their own personal safety to try and save others and I want to say thank you to them on behalf of all Londoners but also because it shows the best of us.”
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson echoed Khan’s remarks thanking first responders and members of the public.
“My thanks go first of all to the emergency services,” he told reporters on Friday. “The police for their bravery and their professionalism, and to repeat again my thanks to those members of the public who put themselves in harm’s way to protect others and I think they represent the best of our country and I thank them on behalf of the rest of our country.”
Queen Elizabeth II said in a statement to The Associated Press that she and her husband, Prince Philip, were sending their thoughts to everyone affected by the “terrible violence.” She thanked police and emergency services “as well as the brave individuals who put their own lives at risk to selflessly help and protect others.”
-With files from The Associated Press and Reuters