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Hainault: man arrested on suspicion of murder after 14-year-old boy dies in east London sword attack – latest updates



What we know so far…

  • The Metropolitan police said a 14-year-old boy was killed in a sword attack in Hainault, east London, this morning. The boy’s family is being supported by specialist officers, the Met said.

  • Five people were injured in the attack: three members of the public (one of whom has died) and two Metropolitan police officers.

  • Two Met officers suffered wounds that both require surgery, with Ch Supt Stuart Bell, of the Met police, describing their injuries as “significant” but not life-threatening. The injuries sustained by two members of the public are also not deemed to be life-threatening.

  • Bell also said at a press conference that he did not believe it was a targeted attack, and it is not believed to be terror-related.

  • Police say the 36-year-old suspect was arrested 22 minutes after the first call, after being Tasered.

  • The Guardian understands that police have been investigating whether the suspect in the Hainault attack had a history of mental ill-health.

  • London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, said he was “absolutely devastated” about the incident and the UK’s prime minister, Rishi Sunak, described it as “shocking”.

Here is Ch Supt Stuart Bell speaking to the media this afternoon:

Police confirm teenage boy has died after Hainault sword attack – video


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Key events

Jas Athwal, leader of Redbridge Council which covers Hainault, said the four people injured in this morning’s attack are all still in hospital.

He said the community’s “thoughts, prayers, hearts go out to those affected”.

Athwal also tribute to the 14-year-old boy who was killed.

On the 36-year-old suspect in custody, Rolfe said: “We have found no trace of a prior incident involving him so far.”


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Rolfe said there will be a significant police presence in the coming days and the Met would like to speak to anyone with relevant information.

She added people “should think very carefully” about what they post on social media after graphic footage of the incident was posted.

Rolfe added: “He has been arrested on suspicion of murder at this time.“

“Given his injuries, we have been unable to interview him.”

Rolfe added: “Our thoughts of course remain with the family and friends of the 14-year-old boy who very sadly died here this morning.

“We’re also thinking of the two members of the public who were injured, as well as brave officers who were stabbed.”


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Suspect in hospital, Met police say

The suspect in the Hainault incident is in hospital after sustaining “injuries” when his van collided with a building, the Met assistant commissioner Louisa Rolfe said.


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The chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, Rick Prior, said the “horrific incident” is a sad reminder of the “incredible bravery” police display in London every day.

Two officers required surgery following the attack.

Prior said: “It’s often forgotten by people who attack our profession and the difficult and dynamic decisions which officers are confronted with on an hourly basis, that we work with heroes whose courage is incredible.

“We shall be supporting our injured colleagues, the officers they work with and their families as best we can at this very difficult time.”

Met police to give another update on Hainault attack

The Metropolitan police is expected to give another update to the media at about 16:00, after this morning’s attack in Hainault, according to BBC News.


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The Metropolitan police has said it is aware of “graphic images” and video that has been circulating on social media after the Hainault attack, and urged people to consider the impact of sharing them, particularly of the 14-year-old boy who was killed.

“Anyone with footage which may assist our criminal inquiry should share it with us urgently,” it wrote in a post on X.

We are aware of graphic images and video on social media following the attack in Hainault.

We ask users to consider the impact of sharing these, particularly those of the fatally injured victim.

Anyone with footage which may assist our criminal inquiry should share it with us…

— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) April 30, 2024

The council in Redbridge, which is the London borough where Hainault is located, has published a statement online saying it believes the close-knit community would have been shaken by the incident.

It reads:

We feel shocked at the news of this morning’s attack in Hainault. Police have detained the suspect, and we are supporting the police investigation.

There are cordens in place in the area this morning but police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident and have said there is no further risk to the local people.

Hainault is a close-knit community and we know this will have shaken local people. Our thoughts are with all those affected and their family members.

The investigation is live, and police have asked for anyone with any information to call 999.

If anyone needs further support after seeing or experiencing events this morning, please call the victim support phone line on 0808 1689111.


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King Charles asks to be kept ‘fully informed’ as details of the attack become clearer

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson has said King Charles’s thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the Hainault attack, especially the family of the 14-year-old boy who was killed.

He has asked to be kept “fully informed” of the incident as new details come to light.

In a statement, the spokesperson 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.

Footage taken by Sky News showed a police cordon and blood on the ground at the scene of the stabbing attack in east London earlier today. You can watch the video here:

Aerial footage shows scene of Hainault stabbing attack – video report


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Khan urges Hainault residents to pass relevant doorbell and phone footage to police

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has urged residents in Hainault to pass on any footage recorded on phones or doorbells to the police.

Khan said:

The key message to local residents is if they have recorded on their doorbell or on their phone anything that happened please pass it on to the police.

The police have confirmed they are not looking for anybody else. They have confirmed their is no ongoing wider threat to the community and they have also confirmed this is not a terrorist-related incident.

Members of the public not unreasonably will be quite scared in that community in Hainault. I know it very well – it is a tight-knit community.

Additional uniformed officers will be present, not simply to reassure members of the public but also in case members of the public have any intelligence and any information.

I would encourage members of the public in Redbridge to ring 101. If they have information they can ring crimestoppers. I appreciate how terrifying this was.

They can also contact victim support who can provide assistance to those residents who will be traumatised, I am sure, by what happened this morning.


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Here are some images of forensic officers at the scene in Hainault after the ‘critical incident’ this morning:

Police forensic officers examine the crime scene in Hainault, east of London. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
Police forensic officers examine the crime scene in Hainault, east of London. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
Forensic investigators in Hainault, east London, after a 14-year-old boy was fatally stabbed. Photograph: Jordan Pettitt/PA

Met police clarify that the boy killed in Hainault attack is 14, not 13

The Metropolitan police has clarified the boy who was killed in the attack is 14, not 13 as they previously reported at the press conference in the afternoon.

Police now say that “after speaking with the victim’s family, we can confirm that the boy who died as a result of the incidents in Hainault was aged 14 and not 13”, BBC News reported.

📺 | Update following a serious incident in Hainault this morning.

Chief Superintendent Stuart Bell: “My thoughts are with the injured, their families and the wider community as we all begin to come to terms with what has happened.”@MPSRedbridge

— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) April 30, 2024


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Rachel Hall

Rachel Hall

One local resident, who asked not to be named, saw through her kitchen window the perpetrator stab a young victim with a long sword on the street, and then raise his arms in celebration – “like yay, yay I’ve done it, sort of proud”, she said. She said the young victim immediately collapsed.

She showed a picture to the Guardian of the young male victim, which showed him lying crumpled on the ground. She said local people had attempted to revive him and his family quickly gathered around from a neighbouring house. She said that police had arrived very quickly after the attack.

Videos taken in the morning by local resident Deepsikha Bhattacharjee, 36, showed helicopters, fire engines and police cars. She was woken up at 7am by loud noises of helicopters overhead.

“I came out and it was like chaos everywhere, police cars everywhere, no space left alone. People everywhere. I saw three helicopters and then people literally running from this side to that side. I saw a lot of people insanely running as though someone was chasing them,” she said.

She said local residents had been shouting “don’t go there, shooting is going on”, urging them to run in the opposite direction.


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Wes Streeting, the Labour MP for Ilford North who is also the shadow health secretary, has shared a new statement on X, sending his “deepest, heartfelt condolences” to the family of the teenage boy killed in the attack.

Our whole community will be devastated by the heartbreaking news that a 13 year old boy was killed in the horrific sword attack in Hainault this morning.

Latest statement:

— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) April 30, 2024


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