London Bridge Stabbing Attack Leaves 3 Dead, Including the Attacker

Josh Hobbs

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On Early Friday afternoon, two people were left dead, and three were left injured after a stabbing attack took place outside of Fishmongers’ Hall near the London Bridge. The attacker was shot and killed by police after multiple citizens outside of the hall helped stop the attacker by fighting and pinning him down until authorities arrived on the scene. Once police arrived on scene, the attackerwas shot dead as he was believed to wearing a suicide vest at the time. It was later reported the believed suicide vest was fake. Police have also deemed the tragedy as an official “terrorist attack”. 

The attacker has now been confirmed by police to be 28 year old, Usman Khan. Khan had been recently released from prison in 2018 after convicted on terrorism charges, when he pleaded guility to planning numerous terrorit acts, such as blowing up the London Stock Exchange. Khan was released from his 16-year sentence with parole in December 2018, on condition that he wear an ankle bracelet and take part in a government rehabilitation program focused on those previously involved in terrorism. 

The victims have been confirmed by local authorities to be Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23. Both were Cambridge University graduates and involved in a study group known as Learning Together, sponsored by the university, focusing on prisoner rehabilitation. Merritt and Jones were in attendance to an event celebrating the five-year anniversary of Learning Together, which Khan attended as well. 

London Mayor Sadiq Khan released a statement the following day, saying, “We saw yesterday one example of the worst of humanity — the actions of this terrorist,” Sadiq Khan said. “But we saw many examples of the best of humanity. And when I say the best of us, I include EU citizens. And what we saw yesterday was ordinary citizens, including Londoners who are of Polish origin — he’s a Londoner — who acted in an extraordinary way. And I’m pretty proud of him.”

Both families of the victims released their separate statements as well. The Jones family remembered their daughter as, “funny, kind, positive influence at the center of many people’s lives.”

“Saskia had a great passion for providing invaluable support to victims of criminal injustice, which led her to the point of recently applying for the police graduate recruitment program, wishing to specialize in victim support,” the family said.

In another statement, Merritt’s family said he was “looking forward to building a future with his girlfriend, Leanne, and making a career helping people in the criminal justice system.”

His family criticized the Conservative government’s plans to review Britain’s judicial sentencing system in the aftermath of the attack.

“We know Jack would not want this terrible, isolated incident to be used as a pretext by the government for introducing even more draconian sentences on prisoners, or for detaining people in prison for longer than necessary,” they wrote.

Our very own, Ms. Dobosz, was in London at the time for Thanksgiving with her fiance and his sister. Incredibly, Dobosz was very close to where the attack occurred. I was able to talk to her about her experience, as she was witnessed first hand with her friends and family what was happening. 

“I was in Borough Market at the time when we first noticed something was happening,” said Dobosz, “We left the market to see what was going on and saw a crowd of people running and screaming away from something.”

I then talked to her about what she did after she found out what was happening. 

“It took me a minute to figure out exactly what was going on, but me and my fiance went back into the market and hid in the bathroom to figure out exactly what was happening. “

“We actually ended up using twitter to see what was going on. We  discovered later that the stabbing was going on a block away from where we were, since we were right next to the bridge.”

I then talked to her about how this experience affected the rest of her trip, and how it could affect her mindset when she travels to new places in the future.

“When we were walking around London for the next couple of days we would see like a group of kids running and we’d all get really nervous at first. We also went to a Christmas fair with lots of people and were nervous as it was fairly crowded and I think you’re just thinking in the back of your mind ‘is going to happen again?’“