• World

American Woman Killed in London Knife Attack

2 minute read
Updated: | Originally published: ;

A knife attack in central London on Wednesday has left one woman dead and five others injured, authorities said.

London’s Metropolitan Police believe a male suspect targeted bystanders randomly in the “spontaneous attack” that unfolded about 10:30 p.m. local time in the busy area of Russell Square.

The slain woman was an American, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley and the U.S. State Department said. Those injured are Australian, American, Israeli and British, according to Rowley. Officials have not yet released their identities.

“‎Our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those killed in last night’s attack in London,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement to TIME. “We can confirm the death of a U.S. citizen, and we are aware of reports that another U.S. citizen was injured.”

The condition of those wounded and the extent of their injuries was not immediately known. Of those injured, two remain hospitalized and three others have been discharged, police said.

Rowley told reporters that a 19-year-old suspect was Tasered before he was arrested and placed in police custody. “Whilst the investigation is not yet complete, all of the work that we have done so far increasingly points to this tragic incident as having been triggered by mental health issues,” Rowley said in a statement.

The suspect is a Norwegian national, of Somali ancestry, police said. No gunshots were fired during his arrest, according to Rowley.

Police have also not ruled out terrorism as a possible motive. Authorities searched an address in north London and plan to do the same for another location in south London, but there is no evidence yet of “radicalization or anything that would suggest the man in our custody was motivated by terrorism,” the assistant police commissioner said.


More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com