A man ‘armed with kitchen knives’ allegedly stabbed three people on a rampage through two London doctors’ surgeries today.
Three people were taken to hospital after they were attacked in St Stephen’s Health Centre in Tower Hamlets and The Tredegar Practice in Bow, east London by a man wielding a ’12-inch blade’.
According to bystanders, the man burst into The Tredegar Practice around 11am and stabbed two men before lunging towards a mother-of-three in the waiting room as patients fled.
He was then tackled by a brave have-a-go hero before he ran out of the surgery and to the nearby St Stephen’s Health Centre, where he allegedly attacked a wheelchair-bound woman.
Three remain in hospital, although their injuries are not understood to be life threatening.
Police were tonight questioning a 40-year-old suspect in relation to the stabbings.
Scotland Yard said in a statement: ‘Police were called at 11.06am on Wednesday, 19 December to reports of a stabbing at a health centre on St Stephen’s Road, Tower Hamlets.
‘Officers, including specialist firearms officers, attended and found three people suffering from stab injuries.
‘They were taken to hospital; their injuries are not being treated as life-threatening. A man was detained nearby and taken to hospital suffering from an injury.
A Met Police spokeswoman said: ‘A 24-year-old man and a 33-year-old man at the first location; and a third victim, a 77-year-old woman, at the second location.
‘The three were all taken to hospital by the London Ambulance Service; their injuries have now been deemed non life-threatening. All remain at hospital.
‘Another woman made her own way to hospital with a minor injury, and was later discharged.’
She added: ‘A 40-year-old man was arrested inside the second location on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm, and taken to hospital suffering from a minor injury.
‘He was treated and then discharged. He is currently in custody an east London police station. Cordons remain in place while enquiries are ongoing.
‘This incident is not believed to be terror-related.’
Armed police were deployed, but the incident was not treated as ‘terror-related’.
Footage posted on social media shows a man at the scene being led into a police van just wearing a pair of tight ‘budgie smuggler’ swimming trunks and a pair of boots.
Teams of paramedics are at the scene in Tower Hamlets this afternoon after three people were stabbed
Pictures and video from the scene show a man in his underwear being led to the police van
Police were called to St Stephen’s Health Centre in Tower Hamlets, shortly after 11am this morning where they found people with stab injuries
The mother-of-three was waiting in the surgery when the suspect, wearing Army-style camouflage clothing, burst in clutching a kitchen knife.
She said the man lunged at her with a blade between 10 and 12 inches long.
She saw some patients run out of the waiting room as a man tried to wrestle the knife away from the attacker before she locked herself in a toilet.
The mother, who did not want to be named, said: ‘He had camouflage kit with his hood up with glasses. The knife was massive. As I looked up, I saw him waving it.
‘There was a load of shouting. He was just lunging at people and I started screaming.’
She said a young man waiting with his mother intervened and tried to stop the attacker.
‘He lunged at me then stepped backwards because the other guy was shouting. I think he was trying to defuse it, and trying to stop him.
‘He has saved people because he stopped others from getting injured, he was probably worried about his mum as well.
‘He was very brave. It was terrifying because the only thing I could think about was my kids. I locked myself in the toilet. I was in there for about about seven minutes.’
Police have confirmed the incident is not terror related.
Police on the scene outside Tredegar Practice GP surgery on St Stephen’s Road
Police confirmed a man was detained and taken to hospital to be treated for his injuries
Billy Jones, 27, who works near St Stephen’s Health Centre, said he saw a male patient running from the surgery.
He said the knifeman was ‘wielding a knife in each hand’ when he attacked the wheelchair-bound woman before hiding himself in the surgery.
Mr Jones said: ‘[The patient] was quite shaken and said, ‘there’s a man in there, he’s come in there bearing two knives. He stabbed an elderly lady out of nowhere.”
Mr Jones said other witnesses claimed the woman was in a wheelchair.
He said: ‘It was a lady probably in her 60s or 70s. She was in a wheelchair – that’s what I heard.’
He said the knifeman suffered a cut to his elbow during his arrest, adding: ‘He came out wearing Speedos.
‘It took around half an hour – I can imagine he was probably hiding somewhere when they went looking for him.’
According to witnesses, the man entered the surgery in east London before launching the knife attack
One man has been arrested following the incident at St Stephen’s Health Centre in East London this morning