British police have named the man they believe was fatally shot by police after stabbing two people in what was deemed a terrorist-related incident.
Metropolitan Police’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Lucy D’Orsi told reporters during a press conference Sunday evening they have not formally been able to identify the man yet, but they are confident he is 28-year-old Sudesh Amman.
Police said just after 10 a.m. on Sunday, a man with a fake bomb strapped to his body stabbed two people in a “terrorist-related” attack on a London street before he was shot to death by armed officers at the scene. A third victim — a woman in her 30s — was treated for minor injuries from glass.
D’Orsi said the two stabbing victims are expected to survive. One of the victims, a man in his 40s, was initially in life-threatening condition but has been stabilized at a south London hospital. The second, a woman in her 50s, was discharged from the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
“We are confident this is an isolated incident that has been contained,” D’Orsi said, adding there will be increased police patrols in the surrounding areas.
D’Orsi said Streatham High Road will remain closed in both directions while officials investigate.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement the government will be introducing “fundamental changes” to the way people convicted of terrorism offences are treated following the attack.
“Following the awful events at Fishmonger’s Hall in December, we have moved quickly to introduce a package of measures to strengthen every element of our response to terrorism — including longer prison sentences and more money for the police,” Johnson said.
He did not elaborate on what those new measures would be, but said they would be announced on Monday.
The December attack was carried out by a man who had served time in prison for terrorism offences. Johnson’s reference to that case suggested something similar may have happened in this case.
A counter-terrorism official told Reuters Amman was jailed at age 18 in 2018 after admitting to 13 terror offences including disseminating terrorist material and collecting information useful for terror attacks. Global News contacted the Metropolitan police, who were unable to confirm whether Amman had previously served time in prison.
Police said Amman was shot by officers at around 2 p.m., GMT, and was pronounced dead.
“A device was found strapped to the body of the suspect and specialist officers attended,” D’Orsi said in an earlier statement. “Cordons were put in place and it was quickly established that this was a hoax device.”
D’Orsi said the force’s Counter Terrorism Command are now leading an investigation into the incident.
“This incident was quickly declared as a terrorist incident, and we believe it to be Islamist-related,” she said.
D’Orsi said officers are continuing to work in the area to “ensure there is no continuing danger to the public and that all evidence is gathered.”
Gulled Bulhan, a 19-year-old student from Streatham, told Britain’s Press Association that he witnessed the attack.
“I was crossing the road when I saw a man with a machete and silver canisters on his chest being chased by what I assume was an undercover police officer – as they were in civilian clothing,″ he said. “The man was then shot. I think I heard three gun shots but I can’t quite remember.
In a statement, London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan thanked police for their work and said he is in “close contact with the Met Commissioner and local representatives.”
“Terrorists seek to divide us and to destroy our way of life – here in London we will never let them succeed,” he said in the statement.
Streatham MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy, said she was “very concerned” to hear about the incident.
“My thoughts are with those injured, their families and those who witnessed the attack,” she wrote on Twitter.
In a tweet, Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel said she had been updated by police.
“My first thoughts are with the victims, our brave police and emergency services and their families,” she wrote.
-With files from The Associated Press and Reuters.