The Polish kitchen worker who bravely battled London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan with a 5ft ceremonial lance said he ‘acted instinctively’ and has sent his condolences to the families and victims of ‘this sad and pointless attack’.
Lukasz Koczocik, 38, who lives with his girlfriend in southeast
In a statement released through the Metropolitan Police this afternoon, Mr Koczocik said: ‘On the afternoon of Friday, 29 November I was working at Fishmongers Hall as normal when the unimaginable and tragic
‘I and several others tried to stop a man from attacking people inside the building. I did this using a pole I found. Someone else was holding a narwhal tusk.
Lukasz Koczocik (pictured) grabbed hold of a 5ft lance when he heard chilling screams while washing glasses at Fishmongers’ Hall on Friday
Police assist an injured man from the scene, who is understood to be Lukasz Koczocik
‘The man attacked me, after which he left the building. A number of us followed him out but I stopped at the bollards of the bridge.
‘I had been stabbed and was later taken to hospital to be treated. I am thankful that I have now been able to return home.
‘When the attack happened, I acted instinctively. I am now coming to terms with the whole traumatic incident and would like the space to do this in privacy, with the support of my family.
‘I would like to express my condolences to the families who have lost precious loved ones. I would like to send my best wishes to them and everyone effected by this sad and pointless attack.’
Two former Cambridge students – Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25 – died in Khan’s horrifying attack, however the toll could have been far higher had members of the public like Mr Koczocik not stepped in to fight back, witnesses said.
Mr Koczocik charged at 28-year-old Khan and thrust the pike into the attacker’s chest before engaging him in one minute of ‘kill or be killed’ combat (pictured: Mr Koczocik with his girlfriend Kasia)
Mr Koczocik, who had been washing glasses in the basement, was alerted to the carnage by desperate screams from upstairs.
The heroic worker charged at 28-year-old Khan and thrust the pike into the attacker’s chest before engaging him in a minute of ‘kill or be killed’ combat.
In the confusion immediately after the attack, reports said Mr Koczocik had been wielding a narwhal tusk grabbed form the walls, but it became clear yesterday that a second hero had used that improvised weapon while a third brandished a fire extinguisher.
Instead Mr Koczocik had a pike in his hands as he launched himself at Khan, earning praise yesterday from his boss for his selfless courage.
Commodore Toby Williamson, CEO of Fishmongers’ Hall, told the BBC: ‘He’s the guy who cleans the glasses down in the basement and that’s exactly what he was doing when he hears this scream.
Two of the other men who aided Mr Koczocik tackled the terrorist on London Bridge with a narwhal tusk and a fire extinguisher
‘The scream was so loud that, as a first aider, he makes a choice. He goes towards the trouble. He gets there on the first floor of the building just behind me and it’s pretty clear that there’s a bad guy.
‘He’s got two knives in his hands, there’s blood, there’s screams, there’s chaos.
‘Lukasz pulls off the wall this long stick, he charges towards the bad guy, and he impacts him on the chest and there’s clearly something here that is protective and it doesn’t make any sort of impact.
‘But he’s buying time. He allows others to escape, to move to adjacent rooms. At that point he’s got about one-minute of one-on-one straight combat.’
Cdre Williamson recounted the events using just the Christian names of his staff, however Mr Koczocik’s identity was revealed by The Sun last night.
He told how Mr Koczocik was left severely injured as he fought 28-year-old Khan, but refused to give up.
At that point the men with the narwhal tusk and fire extinguisher, who had been taking part in the prisoner reform charity event hosted by the Cambridge students, joined in the battle.
Cdre Williamson described how a brutal showdown spilled into the great hall.
Khan, realising the weight of numbers were against him, tried to flee down the main staircase to the front-door.
Mr Koczocik previously photographed London Bridge in 2015 after it appeared to be have been cleared by emergency services in an unknown incident. He captioned it: ‘Bomb attack on London Bridge’
Mr Koczocik in a recent social media post. Cdre Williamson described how Khan managed to dodge and work his way up Mr Koczocik’s pole, slashing five wounds into the porter’s left side. Mr Koczocik was released from hospital on Saturday
But he was unable to get out because a doorman named Gary was holding the door fast so that another worker, Dawn, could ring the emergency services and hit the alarms.
At this point Khan shifted his attention to two cloakroom girls, who Cdre Williamson named as Alla and Sandra, and said had a ‘hell of a time’.
A maintenance man named Andy, an ex-policeman and ‘pretty cool customer’, had taken over the task of holding the door shut.
Andy was stabbed through the chest by Khan, but still paused for a moment, reluctant to allow the carnage to spill out onto the street, before realising he would have to relent, Cdre Williamson said.
Khan managed to burst out of the hall onto London Bridge, but the commodore said severely injured Mr Koczocik still ‘lead the attack’ against him as it spilled into the open.
Mr Koczocik shouted to members of the public to get back but many were keen to help in any way possible.
One of the bystanders on London Bridge was seen holding a knife (left) which appeared to have been taken from the suspect. Another man – believed to be the knifeman – could be seen lying on the ground, close to a knife (circled, right)
They were backed by the man wielding the narwhal tusk and the one with the fire extinguisher in pursuing Khan down London Bridge.
Mr Koczocik, who had been able to rally himself once before, had grown weaker from the blood loss as the battle continued onto the bridge.
But Cmdre Williamson added that by this stage, Mr Koczocik’s ‘job was done, the police are here and I think you’ve seen the rest on camera.’
Footage showed the other men with the tusk and the fire extinguisher bravely going after Khan with members of the public before he was tackled to the ground.
Khan was shot in the chest by armed police officers shortly afterwards. He had been wearing a mock suicide vest.
Yesterday it emerged Mr Koczocik was being put forward for an official honour in Poland, acknowledging his ‘sacrifice and courage’.
Cdre Williamson said that Mr Koczocik had been released from hospital on the Saturday following the attack.