Boy, 14, killed in sword attack while on his way to school in Hainault, north east London

What we know so far:

  • A schoolboy has died after an east London sword attack

  • Child's family being supported by specialist officers

  • Sword-wielding man arrested after attacks on the public and police

  • Five people taken to hospital

  • A van also crashed nearby

  • Prime Minister describes attacks as 'shocking'

  • Mayor Sadiq Khan 'absolutely devastated'

  • The King has asked to be kept fully informed

A 14-year-old boy was killed in a sword attack while on his way to school in north east London.

Four other people were injured and remain in hospital with non life-threatening injuries - two of them are police officers who are undergoing surgery.

Speaking at a press conference near the scene, Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Stuart Bell said: “You will be aware that a serious incident occurred here at this location this morning. Police and ambulance services were called and deployed to a number of casualties.

“It is with great sadness that I confirm one of those injured in the incident, a 14-year-old boy, has died from their injuries.

“He was taken to hospital after being stabbed and sadly died a short while after. The child’s family are being supported firstly by my local officers and now with some specialist officers.”

Video shows a man armed with a sword in Hainault [Video: X/Elliot/@ell_pht]

A man armed with a sword was arrested after witnesses heard screams following a stabbing spree early on Tuesday morning.

Shouts of "lock your doors" were heard from police. An eyewitness told ITV News they believe the suspect was detained and released by police yesterday.

Five people were taken to hospital following the attacks at around 7am, the London Ambulance Service said.

One eyewitness spoke of how the suspect was involved in a stand-off with police in an alleyway in Thurlow Gardens before hearing a “huge commotion” and a woman screaming.

The man said he saw a man dressed in yellow jumping over fences from his back window and heard someone shout “he’s got a massive knife”.

Police said officers were initially called to reports of a vehicle being driven into a house.

The Met said it was not looking for anyone else in connection with the attacks which are not believed to be terror-related.

Speaking about what he saw on Tuesday morning, the witness said: “I heard shouting, I heard shrieking – I thought ‘who would be shrieking at this time in the morning?’

“The shrieking sounded like the police – you know when they are ordering someone to stop or to get on their knees or something – it was like that.

“It was like ‘stop where you are, put that down, put that down’ – that kind of thing.

“I looked out the back window because the noise was coming from back there, I saw a bloke dressed in yellow jumping over some fences … then he went down an alley like he was going back onto the street again.

“I saw a policeman and policewoman – normal coppers with the short-sleeved shirts – who chased after him and they were shouting for him to put it down.”

Doorbell camera footage of of police officers tasering and detaining a sword-wielding man in Hainault Credit: PA

He continued: “I also heard the words ‘he’s got a massive knife’, or ‘he’s got a massive sword’.

“Then he disappeared down this alley and then he was out of sight.

“They (the police) went into the alley and there seemed to be some sort of a stand-off there where I heard this huge commotion, then I heard a scream.

“From that commotion at least one person was knifed – I think it might have been a woman because I heard a woman scream and then some sort of sobbing sounds.

“I then heard a voice say something like ‘she’s been stabbed in the face’ or ‘we need assistance’ – you know, calling for medical back-up.”

A map showing the movements of an alleged sword attack in east London Credit: PA

The London Ambulance Service said it treated five people at the scene.

Transport for London’s website confirmed Hainault Tube station is closed “due to a police investigation in the area”.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan said: “This must have been a terrifying incident for those concerned.

“I know the wider community will be feeling shock and alarm.

“People will want to know what has happened and we will provide more information as soon as we can.”

Chief Superintendent Stuart Bell reads a statement to the media near the scene in Hainault Credit: PA

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I am absolutely devastated by the news from Hainault this morning.

“I remain in constant contact with the Commissioner. A man has been arrested and the area secured. The police are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident. There will be additional reassurance patrols in the area.

“The police officers and emergency services showed the best of our city - running towards danger to protect others and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

“I would urge people not to speculate until the details of this incident are confirmed by the police and avoid posting footage on social media.

“If you have any information at all, please contact the police urgently on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555-111. There is no honour in staying silent.

“Those affected in the local area, including witnesses, can also call Victim Support on 0808 1689 111.”

Police tape around a van on Laing Close in Hainault Credit: PA

Local MP for Ilford North Wes Streeting added: “I want to thank the emergency services for their response to the horrific incident in my constituency this morning, particularly the heroic Metropolitan Police officers who put themselves in harm’s way to protect others. They are the best of us.

“My prayers are with those who’ve been injured and their loved ones.

“I know there will be widespread fear and alarm in our community, but the police have made an arrest and are not looking for other suspects.

“I am liaising closely with the police, the mayor of London and the London Borough of Redbridge, and will keep local residents updated."

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the Hainault stabbings were “shocking”, adding that “such violence has no place on our streets”.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “Following the horrific scenes in Hainault this morning, the King has asked to be kept fully informed as details of the incident become clearer. “His thoughts and prayers are with all those affected – in particular, the family of the young victim who has lost his life – and he salutes the courage of the emergency services who helped contain the situation.”

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