Home Office ‘attacker stalked staff asking if they worked for Government before slashing worker’s face’ while carrying tear gas and ferret

0


A KNIFEMAN stalked Home Office staff asking if they worked for the Government before slashing an employee’s face, it is claimed.

Armed cops today arrested a ponytailed suspect over an alleged stabbing in Westminster – as a blood-soaked man in his 60s was led away from the scene.

A man in his 60s was stabbed outside the Home Office HQ in Westminster
Reuters
This is the moment a 29-year-old is arrested on suspicion of GBH after a man was stabbed outside the Home Office
A 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of GBH after a man was stabbed outside the Home Office
The Sun Online
An item was seen inside a police cordon
A knife in a sheath was seen inside a police cordon after the suspect, 29, was arrested
PA:Press Association

It is now thought that the assailant – bizarrely in possession of a ferret and tear gas – approached the victim outside the Home Office’s Central London HQ.

He is thought to have asked the contractor, a Ministry for Housing civil servant, if he was a government employee before stabbing the man in the head, the Mail Online reports.

The site understands a female government employee was also approached by the assailant outside the building before the attack.

Dramatic photos show the shirtless worker nursing his wounded head as blood dripped from his chest after the incident at 1pm on Thursday.

Cops have now confirmed the man’s injuries are neither life-threatening or life-changing. His family has been informed.

Police said terror is a current a line of enquiry, with a spokesman adding: “We are keeping an open mind on the motive”.

Reports suggest the worker may have been targeted because he was wearing his Government pass.

Armed police swooped to the scene within six minutes, arresting a 29-year-old man on suspicion of GBH on the steps of St John’s church.

The suspect was also held on suspicion of being armed with tear gas.

A ferret in a plastic green basket was dumped at the arrest scene, alongside a knife in a sheath, an Oyster card and a rucksack.

The ferret is alive and well and has been taken into the care of police, The Independent understands.


Did you witness what happened? Contact The Sun Online at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368. You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502


A train ticket found also suggests the suspect could have travelled from Birmingham to London to carry out the broad daylight stabbing.

Witnesses today told chilling accounts of how they watched a “6ft scruffy” man remove a “long knife” from his bag – calmly walking through the capital’s busy streets before the attack.

One source said the man was asking staff if they worked for the Home Office before the “unprovoked” knifing.

Home Office worker Keith Thorpe, 70, told The Sun Online: “The victim was bleeding profusely from his face. He was covering his eye quite a bit and blood had dropped all down his face.”

He said the reception area was left “blood-splattered” as armed guards locked down the Home Office building.

A local woman, who lives near the church, added: “I heard a commotion, I didn’t know what it was. It was a man’s scream.

“The scream was either one of violence or fear. It was really loud shouting.”

LONDON’S BLOODY STREETS

Fellow witness Shaun Malston, an estate agent who works across the road, told The Sun: “There was a commotion outside, everyone started running in different directions.

“I saw people running into the Home Office. Some security people came out of the Home Office and told everyone to get back in.

“Then I saw them bring the gentleman out – he had no shirt on, just his suit trousers and jacket.

“There was all this blood down his chest. They escorted him out and into the ambulance.”

Eyewitness Gareth Milner was eating his lunch when “a number of armed police officers arrived”.

He said: “Some time later a gentleman with quite a bloodied face and with dressing pressed into his face was escorted out of the Home Office by a paramedic.”

Police confirmed the man had been attacked outside the Peel building which houses four Government departments – the Home Office, UK Border Agency, Identity and Passport Service and the Department for Food and Rural Affairs.

A man can be seen being led from the Home Office covered in blood
A man can be seen being led from the Home Office covered in blood today
Reuters
The creature could be seen left in the plastic basket at the scene
The creature could be seen left in the plastic basket at the scene
Reports suggested the man was stabbed outside and went into the Home Office for help
Witnesses said chaotic scenes unfolded as the man, in his 60s, was attacked on the busy London street
Twitter
Witnesses claimed the suspect was arrested outside St John's church in Westminster
Witnesses claimed the suspect was arrested outside St John’s church in Westminster with a backpack
PA:Press Association
A return train ticket shows a fare from Birmingham
A return train ticket shows a fare from Birmingham
PA:Press Association
A hooded jumper and glasses were among the items behind a police cordon
PA:Press Association
Items were left outside the church in central London
Items were left outside the church in Central London
PA:Press Association
Discarded items lay on the ground
Discarded items lay on the ground
Peter Jordan
Armed Police were seen at the Marsham Street building
Armed police were seen at the Marsham Street building after being called to the scene just after 1pm
PA:Press Association
Items within the police cordon include tear gas, coins and an Oyster card
Items within the police cordon included tear gas, coins and an Oyster card
PA:Press Association
Police were seen outside the Home Office in London today
Police were seen outside the Home Office in London today, with the victim rushed to a major trauma centre
Twitter
Unconfirmed reports have suggested the man was targeted as he was wearing a Home Office badge
Unconfirmed reports have suggested the man was targeted as he was wearing a Home Office badge
EPA
Police said terror links were part of the unfolding investigation
Police said terror links were part of the unfolding investigation
Splash News

Around 6,000 staff are currently based at the seven-floor facility, which was opened in 2005 and is not accessible to the public.

Cops initially thought the man suffered life-threatening injuries and he was rushed to a Major Trauma Centre.

His condition is now stable.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, who recently gave police increased powers for stop-and-search, tweeted: “All my thoughts are with the victim and their family following horrific unprovoked knife attack on Marsham Street.”

The news comes on the same day as the Home Office launched an anti-knife crime campaign using chicken takeaway boxes.

A Met Police spokesperson confirmed they were called to Marsham Street just after 1pm “following a report of a man with a knife.”

They said: “One man has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and taken to a police station.”

The Home Office described it as “a deeply concerning incident”.

New Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP added: “I am deeply shocked by this horrific attack on a colleague today.

“My thoughts, and those of all my staff, are with him and his family. We are ready to provide as much support as we can and we all wish him a speedy recovery.

“We will be reviewing security across the MHCLG estate. All our staff must feel safe as they go about their important work.

“I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to the police, ambulance service and our staff for their swift response today.”

Just an hour later, an 18-year-old was stabbed to death in Brixton, with cops arresting a 17-year-old boy on suspicion of murder.

London has been in the grips of a terrifying spate of knife attacks, with last year the capital’s bloodiest in a decade.


The number of homicides reached 132 – and it shows no signs of abating.

As of August 13 this year, there have been 86 violent deaths in the capital.

Shocking figures revealed knife crime in England and Wales has soared to a record high, with 43,000 offences last year.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has vowed to crack down on knife crime since she got one of the top jobs in Boris Johnson’s new Government. She has granted cops extra stop and search powers in a bid to tackle violent crime.

Boris has also vowed 20,000 more officers, 10,000 more prison cells and £100million for extra security to stop knives being brought into jails.

https://players.brightcove.net/5067014667001/default_default/index.min.js

Cops cordoned off the scene as they launched an investigation
Cops cordoned off the scene as they launched an investigation
PA:Press Association
Police confirmed they were called to the Home Office just after 1pm
Police confirmed they were called to the Home Office just after 1pm
Reuters

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368. You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here