****Update 3/24/17 Updated Information****
50 were injured in the attack, 4 people died including a US citizen and a police officer that tried to stop the attacker. The attacker’s name is Khalid Masood, 52 and is a British national who did convert to extreme Islam. Scotland Yard confirmed this was a terrorist attack arrested at least 10 people in connection to the attack, released six, and still holding four (BBC).
On Wednesday an absolutely awful attacked occurred in London that is being investigated as an act of terror. Acting Deputy Commissioner and head of Counter Terrorism Mark Rowley told reporters during a press conference there is believed to be only one attacker and three police officers were injured.
“Sadly, I can confirm that now four people have died. That includes the police officer who was protecting Parliament, and one man that we believe to be the attacker who was shot by police fire at the scene,” he said.
He added: “We are satisfied at this stage that it looks like there was only one attacker. But it would be foolish to be overconfident early on.”
These are the events that occurred:
Police said a vehicle mowed down pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, leaving more than a dozen with injuries described as catastrophic.
Rowley said the car then crashed near to Parliament, and at least one man – armed with a knife – continued the attack and tried to enter Parliament.
The knife-wielding attacker stabbed a police officer and was shot on the grounds outside Britain’s Parliament, sending the compound into lockdown.
The threat level for international terrorism in the U.K. was already listed at severe. Wednesday was the anniversary of suicide bombings in the Brussels airport and subway that killed 32 people, and the latest events echoed recent vehicle attacks in Berlin and Nice, France.
London police were called to the Parliament building at around 2:40 p.m. local time (10:40 a.m. EST) after reports of a vehicle crashing into a crowd at Westminster Bridge near Britain’s parliament.
Witness Rick Longley told the Associated Press what he saw:
“They were just laying there and then the whole crowd just surged around the corner by the gates just opposite Big Ben,” he said. “A guy came past my right shoulder with a big knife and just started plunging it into the policeman. I have never seen anything like that. I just can’t believe what I just saw.”
Below are social media posts that occurred during and after the incident. ****Warning**** some pictures are disturbing and intense.