London was terrorized on Wednesday afternoon by a terrorist. The two-part attack on Britain’s Parliament and the Westminister Bridge left four people dead, including a cop and his murderer, more than a dozen injured and an entire city in chaos.
At about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, the horror of it all came out of nowhere, witnesses say. It started at the Westminister Bridge, when a car sped into pedestrians who were on the bridge. Then, outside Parliament, came a violent confrontation
Authorities are almost positive the same man is responsible for horrible carnage that took place in London. Some of the injuries, according to eyewitnesses, are “catastrophic.” The car that sped through the crowd on the bridge was going about 50 mph.
France’s foreign ministry says that three teenagers from France were injured in the terrorist attack. They were on a school field trip to London.
“It was horrendous,” an eyewitness told CNN, describing a scene of a dozen bodies scattered along the bridge. “Absolutely horrendous.”
The car’s driver, carrying a pair of knives, then abandoned the vehicle and ran toward the Parliament.
The building was immediately put on lockdown after the knife-wielding attacker fatally stabbed a police officer — and was then shot to death by other London cops.
Witness Rick Longley told the Press Association that he saw a man crash a car into the gate outside of Parliament just opposite Big Ben. The man exited the vehicle and approached the police officer.
“A guy came past my right shoulder with a big knife and just started plunging it into the policeman,” Longley told the Press Association. “I have never seen anything like that. I just can’t believe what I just saw.”
The White House was quick to offer support to its British allies.
“We condemn today’s attack in Westminster, which the United Kingdom is treating as an act of terrorism,” said White House spokesman Sean Spicer.
The U.K. “has the full support of the U.S. government in responding to the attack,” he added.
The NYPD announced that it had re-deployed long gun teams to the British Consulate, City Hall and Grand Central Station after the attack.
Bangs and gunshots could be heard around 2:30 p.m. local time as Britain’s House of Commons was suspended. Members of Parliament told the BBC they heard “three or four gunshots.”
A heavy police quickly filled the area, and news crews reported that two people were seen lying within the grounds of Parliament.
A police officer was seen with his foot on what appears to be a knife while pointing a gun at a man on the ground — apparently the mortally injured attacker.
Metropolitan Police Commander B.J. Harrington said “a full counterterrorism investigation is underway” and police presence around the city has been ramped up for the evening rush hour commute.
Jayne Wilkinson told Sky News she saw a middle-aged man carrying a knife “seven or eight inches long.”
“He was running through those gates, towards Parliament, and the police were chasing him,” she told Sky News.
At least 10 people were treated on the Westminster Bridge, according to the London Ambulance Service.
Former Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski tweeted that a car “mowed down” at least five people on the bridge, along with a video of people lying injured on the road.
Another woman was pulled alive from the Thames River after jumping for her life.
Sikorski told Polish channel TVN24 he was in a cab when he heard a crash. When he looked up, Sikorski said saw multiple people lying on the pavement.
“People started running up to them,” he told TVN24. “I saw one person who gave no sign of life, another man was bleeding from his head.”
Prime Minister Theresa May was in the building at the time of the attack, and was seen being ushered away by plainclothes officers, according to Sky News. She was later reported to be safe and unharmed.
The London Eye was also placed on lockdown with many riders still in the inside its cabs. One visitor from Madrid tweeted a photo from the towering obersvation wheel, adding that he’d been up there for more than an hour.
London was already on alert for the funeral of former IRA commander Martin McGuinness, which is scheduled for Thursday. The attack comes a year to the day of the Brussells airport bombing that killed 32 people.