Streatham attack: Eyewitnesses tell of distress and panic

  • Published
Dave Chawner
Image caption,
Dave Chawner speaking to the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme

Eyewitnesses have described scenes of distress and panic when a man was shot dead by police after stabbing people in Streatham, London.

They told the BBC how they fled at the sound of gunshots on Streatham High Road just after 14:00 GMT on Sunday.

Three people were injured in the attack - carried out by Sudesh Amman, 20 - but none is in a critical condition.

One man said he gave people looking after one of the victims a blanket to "help stem the bleeding".

'Blood everywhere'

Dave Chawner, who had been on the way to the cinema, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I heard what I thought at that time was a car backfiring.

"I turned back and turned round and saw a small group of people around a man who was on the floor who was incredibly distressed, he was holding his lower right quadrant and there was blood everywhere.

"I happened to have a blanket in my bag and I gave it to them to help stem the bleeding and I ran to the nearest crossroads to wave down the ambulance."

Mr Chawner said the ambulance "took well over half an hour to arrive", which was "incredibly frustrating and distressing".

London Ambulance Service said its medics were at the scene in four minutes, but were sent to a rendezvous point until police told them it was safe to treat patients.

Image source, Wellzy Ryder
Image caption,
People gathered near the scene in Streatham

Adam Blake, who was walking along Streatham Common, described how he saw two or three cars crash into each other, including an unmarked police car, as the incident unfolded.

"Another police car carried on towards the hill pursuing someone," he told the BBC.

Image source, @exsupermarket
Image caption,
A police officer was seen pointing a gun at a man, who was seen on the floor outside Boots


Gjon Kathegjolli said he was in a barber shop when he heard a woman, who was with a baby in a push chair and two young boys, scream and saw her being stabbed.

A man then walked past carrying a knife the size of his forearm, he said.

Daniel Gough said he was out for a run when he heard shots and everyone ran.

"There was panic, people were yelling," he said. "A young girl running alongside me kept asking 'Is this what I'm meant to do?' - she was very distressed.

"I saw a policeman and he yelled, telling everyone to get back. His gun was pointing in the direction of a man on the floor."

Media caption,

Video shows moments after police shooting

Image caption,
Clare Henson-Bowen

Clare Henson-Bowen, who was walking past a pub with her husband and children, initially thought there had been a shoplifting incident.

"It happened really quickly. Lots of people were running. A lady on a bike looked like she was pushed…. another guy was wrapping a shirt around his arm, and the guy who had stolen something ran, thankfully, in the other direction," she told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme.

"I don't think it's really sunk in," she said, adding that residents had "come together" in the aftermath.

Image caption,
Lee Ford

Lee Ford, a local electrician, said: "To see this happen on my doorstep - our doorstep - it's very shocking."

He added: "It's something you see on the news, not necessarily what you see on your on your doorstep."

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