On Nov. 29, two people were killed in a stabbing on London Bridge in Central London, which police have labeled a “terror incident.” Three others remain in the hospital. The alleged attacker was shot by the police and died.
But more lives might have been lost if not for bystanders who jumped in and subdued the attacker before the police arrived, tackling him to the ground. One of those men was reportedly armed with nothing but a narwhal tusk, and another with just a fire extinguisher.
After the attack, various media reports had identified one of the men who sprang into action as a Polish immigrant named Lukasz. In a statement released by police on Tuesday, Lukasz said he did engage the attacker, but was not the one holding the narwhal tusk.
“On the afternoon of Friday, 29 November I was working at Fishmongers Hall as normal when the unimaginable and tragic terrorist attack happened. 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,” he said.
“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,” he continued.
“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,” Lukasz concluded.
According to The Guardian, another member of the public who confronted the alleged attacker was armed with just a fire extinguisher.
Police confirmed on Saturday that the attacker was 28-year-old Usman Khan, who had been convicted in 2012 for terrorism offenses, and had been released from prison in 2018.
At a press conference Friday night, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick thanked the members of the public who helped stop the attacker, either by tackling him or by the following the police’s instructions.
“The empty ideology of terror offers nothing but hatred and today I urge everyone to reject that,” Dick said. “Ours is a great city because we embrace each other’s differences. We must emerge stronger still from this tragedy. In doing that we will ensure that the few who seek to divide us will never, ever succeed.”
Speaking to the BBC Saturday morning, Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, praised the bystanders who jumped into action. He pointed out that the attacker was wearing a dummy suicide vest — which the bystanders didn’t know was fake — and yet they still confronted him. “I’m so proud, and we should all be really proud,” Khan said.
In a statement Friday night, Khan said, “Heartbreaking confirmation from the Met Commissioner that two people who were attacked this afternoon have tragically died – victims of the appalling terrorist attack at London Bridge. My heart goes out to them, their loved ones and to everybody affected. London will never be cowed by terrorism. Terrorism will never win.”
Correction, Dec. 3
The original version of this story misstated who was holding a narwhal tusk while subduing the London Bridge attacker. It was another bystander; not Lukasz, who said he was holding a pole. The original version of this story also misspelled Lukasz’s name. It is Lukasz, not Luckasz.