An eyewitness has told of the horror of watching a man wearing a Help for Heroes t-shirt being attacked with a machete-style knife and dumped in the street. Two people were shot in Woolwich, south east London, after armed police were called to the incident.
The witness, identified as James, said he and his partner saw two black men attack the young victim with knives, including a meat cleaver. "They were hacking at this poor guy, literally," he told LBC. They were hacking at him, chopping him, cutting him."
London Air Ambulance confirmed that one patient was airlifted from the scene, while another was taken away by road ambulance. The service would not confirm the nature of their injuries or where they were being taken. Fighting back tears, James said the men treated their victim as a "piece of meat" after he was dead.
"These two guys were crazed," he told the radio station. "They were just animals. They dragged him from the pavement and dumped his body in the middle of the road and left his body there."
Woolwich and Greenwich MP Nick Raynsford said it was his understanding that one person, a serving soldier, was dead and the two alleged suspects were in a serious condition in hospital. He said he had spoken to both borough commander Richard Wood and Lieutenant Colonel Bob Christopher at Woolwich Barracks.
Raynsford said: "The incident occurred early afternoon. One individual is dead, two others are seriously injured and in hospital. The circumstances causing the incident are not yet clear. It's been suggested it was the product of a road traffic accident, but that's pure speculation.
He added: "I'll be talking to everyone who is involved, we will be trying to do everything possible to try and ensure calm in the area. People will be very, very shocked. We think a serving soldier was the victim. We don't know the circumstances surrounding the incident. We do know a number of weapons have been seized. They include a gun, various knives, and a machete, apparently. The police clearly had to take action in order to try and arrest these individuals."