Eyewitnesses describe 'crazed' attackers hacking victim by Woolwich barracks

 

Eyewitnesses today described seeing the "crazed" Woolwich attackers "hacking" at their victim and posing for pictures before charging at police wielding meat cleavers.

One onlooker, identified as James, said he saw two black men chopping at a man in his 20s like he was "a piece of meat".

He told LBC radio: "They were hacking at this poor guy, literally.

"They were hacking at him, chopping him, cutting him."

Describing the murderers as "animals", he told how he saw them drag their victim from the pavement into the middle of the road.

"These two guys were crazed," he said as he fought back tears.

They then stood around, waving knives and a gun, asking people nearby to take pictures of them "as if they wanted to be on TV or something".

He said they were running up and down the road, urging people to take pictures.

"In my opinion, they were waiting for the police to arrive to be shot by the police. That's the only thing I can think," he said.

When armed police arrived 20 minutes later, "the man with the beanie hat, the tall guy, he charged at the police vehicle," James said.

Another witness, Julia Wilders, 51, who lives near the scene, said she saw one of the attackers run towards police clutching two meat cleavers.

"He ran towards police before they could even get out of the car, and it looked like the other one was going to lift the gun up," she said.

"We were driving back and my husband said to me 'don't look, they're resuscitating someone'. But apparently they were stabbing him."

Local resident Graham Wilders, 50, said: "As I drove round I saw a man lying on the floor.

"It looked like another man was trying to resuscitate him, but then he pulled a handgun out in the air."

He said the person with the gun was a black man, wearing a black top, jeans and a hat.

Mr Wilders added: "I saw a bunch of school kids come up. I shouted at the teachers, 'get the kids in school because there's someone there with a handgun'."

Mr Wilders told the BBC: "Apparently they actually ran the car into him and knocked him down before they did anything.

He then described how he saw one of the men pull out a handgun.

"It was a gun that looked as if it could take about 12, 15 rounds so I definitely know it was handgun because I actually seen it in his hand," he said.

"He didn't fire the gun. All I heard was four shots when the Trojan people turned up. These men actually went for the police with the machetes, knife and handgun.

"I don't think they cared. I don't think they really cared because they went for the police with a handgun. The police were the only ones who did any shooting."

Witnesses also took to Twitter to describe the dramatic events and post photographs, which quickly spread online and on television news programmes.

One user, writing on the account Boyadee, said he saw two men decapitate another man in front of him as he went to a nearby shop.

He suggested that the men looked like they were on drugs, waiting for the police to arrive and then going towards them with "just two machete and an old rusty lookin revolver".

"I couldn't believe my eyes. That was some movie s***," he wrote.

"The two black bredas run this white guy over over then hop out the car and start chopping mans head off with machete."

He then described a female officer "taking out" one of the men "like Robocop".

PA

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup