BREAKING NEWS: ‘Soldier beheaded with meat
cleaver’, then attackers are ‘shot by police’ in Woolwich
22 May 2013
A serving soldier was apparently hacked and beheaded by two attackers with a meat cleaver, who were then shot by armed police near the Woolwich Barracks. The young victim, wearing a Help for Heroes t-shirt was attacked “like a piece of meat” and dumped in the street, according to witness reports.
One witness, identified only as James, said he and his partner saw two black men attack the victim.
Fighting back tears, James said the men treated their victim as a “piece of meat” after he was dead.
“These two guys were crazed,” he told LBC radio station.
“They were hacking at this poor guy, literally chopping him, cutting him, like it was a piece of meat. We though they were trying to remove his organs or something.
“They dragged him from the pavement and dumped his body in the middle of the road and left his body there.”
Another witness said that police officers opened fire after the attack in John Wilson Street, near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich.
Woolwich and Greenwich MP Nick Raynsford said it was his understanding that one person, a serving soldier, was dead and the two alleged suspects were in a serious condition in hospital.
He said he had spoken to both borough commander Richard Wood and Lieutenant Colonel Bob Christopher at Woolwich Barracks.
Mr Raynsford said: “The incident occurred early afternoon. One individual is dead, two others are seriously injured and in hospital.
“The circumstances causing the incident are not yet clear. It’s been suggested it was the product of a road traffic accident, but that’s pure speculation.
“I’ll be talking to everyone who is involved, we will be trying to do everything possible to try and ensure calm in the area. People will be very, very shocked.
“We think a serving soldier was the victim. We don’t know the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“We do know a number of weapons have been seized. They include a gun, various knives, and a machete, apparently.
“The police clearly had to take action in order to try and arrest these individuals.”
Pictures posted on Twitter appear to show two men lying on the road in Woolwich.
The air ambulance landed at the scene and paramedics treated victims in the street.
A London Air Ambulance spokeswoman said: “One patient, a man, was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Staff treated two other men, who have been taken to hospital.
“One of them is in a serious condition.”
David Dixon, the head of Mulgrave Primary School, told the BBC that he walked out of the school gates and saw a body lying in the street. “We shut all the gates and made sure all the children were inside,” he said.
Mr Dixon also confirmed hearing gunshots.
The Metropolitan police would only say officers had been called to reports of ‘an assault’ on John Wilson Street.
Wellington Street has been sealed off and an air ambulance has arrived on the scene.
John Wilson Street is currently shut in both directions between Artillery Place and New Ferry Approach.