Four people were killed, including a police officer, and at least 40 other people were injured in an attack in London that authorities have declared a terrorist incident. A man believed to be the attacker was also killed, shot by police at the scene.
The attack began when the driver of a car struck bystanders and three police officers on the Westminster Bridge, London’s Metropolitan Police said. The car then crashed near the Houses of Parliament and at least one man armed with a knife attacked an armed officer who was guarding Parliament, police said.
The suspect, who authorities believe acted alone, was shot and killed by police.
French students were among the injured, according to French officials. A seriously injured woman was pulled from the River Thames and is receiving medical treatment, an official with the Port of London Authority told ABC News. Tobias Ellwood, a member of Parliament, was seen giving first aid to one of the victims.
Authorities said they received several different reports Wednesday, including a person in the River Thames, a car involved in a collision with pedestrians and a man armed with a knife.
An eyewitness told the BBC that someone driving a car on Westminster Bridge appeared to hit bystanders.
Witness Richard Tice told ABC News that he saw injured people on the pavement. According to Tice, the car appeared to have jumped the curb, knocking people over.
Additional officers were deployed across London Wednesday and the public was asked to remain vigilant.
After the attack Parliament was placed on lockdown.
As police swarmed the area, Tom Peck, a British journalist, told ABC News that he heard a loud bang, lots of screaming and then several gunshots from his office in London.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May described the attack as “appalling” and “sick and depraved” in a press conference Wednesday evening.
May said the chosen location for the attack was “no accident” and that Britain’s threat level will remain at “severe,” where it has been for some time.
“The terrorists chose to strike at the heart of our capital city, where people of all nationalities, religions and cultures come together to celebrate the values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech.”
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) March 22, 2017
She continued: “These streets of Westminster — home to the world’s oldest Parliament — are engrained with a spirit of freedom that echoes in some of the furthest corners of the globe. And the values our Parliament represents — democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law — command the admiration and respect of free people everywhere.”
May offered prayers for the victims and their families, and commended the bravery of authorities during the attack “who risk[ed] their lives to keep us safe.”
“Once again today, these exceptional men and women ran towards the danger even as they encouraged others to move the other way,” she said.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement, “I express my condolences to the victims and their families. The American people send their thoughts and prayers to the people of the United Kingdom. We condemn these horrific acts of violence, and whether they were carried out by troubled individuals or by terrorists, the victims know no difference.”