Fishmongers' Hall: The 'courageous team' who helped save countless lives armed with narwhal tusks and fire extinguishers

The 'courageous' team who helped to save lives on the day of the Fishmongers' Hall attack. Credit: PA

"Four good men" saved lives during the London Bridge terrorist attack of 29 November 2019, the Fishmongers' Hall CEO has said.

Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt were "unlawfully killed" by terrorist Usman Khan in the attack, but more lives could have been lost, Commodore Toby Williamson said if it was not for the courage of the four men and others.

Commodore Williamson described those that stepped in to stop Khan as an "unlikely team" who were "instinctive, courageous, selfless".

Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, were killed by Usman Khan at a prisoner education event at Fishmongers’ Hall in November 2019 Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA

"Our collective fortunate were that there were four good men.

"Lives were lost, lives were also saved

"Instinct told them that right should prevail over wrong," Commodore Williamson told ITV News.

But who were those that risked their own lives that day to save others?

Lukasz Koczocik

A kitchen porter at Fishmongers' Hall, Lukasz Koczocik single-handedly fought off the terrorist who launched an attack at the historic building.

Lukasz Koczocik sprang into action when the alarm was raised at the prisoner rehabilitation event.

Commodore Williamson told ITV News days after the attack that Mr Koczocik's bravery and quick thinking helped give others time to escape as he took on the terrorist solo.

Mr Koczocik told the inquest that he had "for some reason" grabbed a maritime ornament known as a boarding pike from the wall of the Grade II-listed building as he and men clutching chairs, a fire extinguisher and a narwhal tusk tried to disarm Khan, who was brandishing knives and wearing a fake suicide belt.

He said: “Once I managed to land a strike on his (Khan’s) belly, he grabbed the pike in one hand, still holding the knives, and I couldn’t shake him off.

“He caught me in the hand and in the shoulder.

“I dropped the pike because he cut the tendon in my hands so I couldn’t grip it.”

Jack Merritt shortly before the attack inside Fishmongers’ Hall Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA

John Crilly

Ex-prisoner John Crilly told jurors he had tackled Khan with a lectern, ornamental chair and, eventually, a fire extinguisher, driving him out into the street.

He told jurors: “I was trying to engage with him. He started saying things like ‘I’ll blow it, I’m waiting for the police’.

"At this point it just went nuts. I say it was a bit like Benny Hill. I was running round trying to distract him.”

He threw a lectern at Khan but it “just bounced off”, the court heard.

'People were screaming and shouting' - John Crilly on confronting Usman Khan

Mr Crilly told ITV News: "By this time, I saw people turning up with tusks and all that, so I went to find something else. I just seen a fire extinguisher, there was nothing else, just pictures. I'd just throw that at him.

"I as soon as I picked it up, I had the hose in my hand, 'I thought I'd just spray him'. And I went back and I prayed him and it obviously affected him more than anything else. So I kept spraying him."

'Armed with fire extinguishers and narwhal tusks, but more importantly, armed with selfishness and courage' - Fishmongers' Hall CEO Commodore Toby Williamson pays tribute to 'four good men'

Steven Gallant

Unarmed inmate Steven Gallant was one of three men who tackled Khan to the ground on London Bridge after he fled Fishmongers' Hall.

Along with John Crilly and Darryn Frost, Mr Gallant restrained the attacker as they scrambled to disarm the terrorist.

The fight was caught on camera by members of the public and show armed police arriving at the scene, pulling the men off Khan and pointing their guns at him as he lies on the floor.

Giving evidence at the inquest into the victims’ deaths, Mr Gallant said he had “whacked” Khan with a narwhal tusk but was empty-handed by the time of the battle on the bridge.

Communications manager Darryn Frost carrying a narwhal tusk which he used to try to disarm Usman Khan on London Bridge Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA

Darryn Frost

Prison and probation service communications manager Darryn Frost jabbed at Khan with a narwhal tusk he had grabbed from the wall of Fishmongers' Hall.

Mr Frost feared Khan might set off a bomb he believed was strapped to him once police arrived, as he had threatened to do.

He continued to hold Khan, despite police telling him to let go.

“I didn’t want him to be shot. His statement that he was waiting for the police meant he wanted to die,” Mr Frost told the inquest.

In an emotional statement, he said: “I saw the chaos he had caused in the hall – I didn’t want him to have the satisfaction of his choice when he had taken that away from others.”

John Crilly could be seen carrying a fire extinguisher on CCTV as he left Fishmongers’ Hall Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA

Gareth Evans

Former HMP Grendon inmate Gareth Evans held Saskia Jones in his arms and told her “she was loved and she was beautiful” as she lay dying after being attacked by Khan at the conference near London Bridge.

He rushed to her aid after she was stabbed in the neck by Khan, who had earlier been seen chatting to her at the Learning Together anniversary event.

'That's not what Jack or Saskia would have been about' - Gareth Evans hopes the attack won't be used to 'push people further away'

Mr Evans told ITV News he hoped the incident would not be used to justify hate. "I keep thinking about what Dave said, Jack's dad, shortly after, whatever it is, just, don't let this be used to stop people helping other people. Don't use it as justification for pushing people further away. Because that's not what Jack or Saskia would have been about."

Dawn Batchelor

A receptionist at Fishmongers' Hall, Ms Butler dialled 999 , "setting off the alarms, doing everything's she's trained to do", Commodore Williamson told ITV News after Mr Merritt staggered into her office saying he had been stabbed and bleeding.

She told the inquest how Khan was holding a knife as she shouted to a security officer to shut the office door, before calling the police.

The hearing was shown a transcript of the 999 call, where Ms Batchelor told an operator: “Somebody has been stabbing, he is running amok, he is running amok, I am deadly serious. He stabbed someone, the person is bleeding right now.”