CCTV footage has emerged showing the moment armed police shot the three London Bridge attackers dead, stopping their bloody rampage.
Three officers arrived on the scene in Borough Market as a man was being stabbed by one of the assailants, while others attempted to enter a pub that had its doors barricaded shut.
Members of the public are seen throwing a chair and other missiles in an attempt to stop the stabbing when a City of London Police unit pulls up at speed.
The armed officers emerge and take aim at the three terrorists, shooting two dead in seconds as they run towards them.
One of the terrorists, believed to be ringleader Khuram Butt, rushes towards an officer wielding a large knife, forcing him to retreat as he opened fire.
One of the officers tripped over a falling attacker before recovering and circling the terrorists’ bodies as reinforcements from the Metropolitan Police arrived.
The CCTV footage does not include sound but Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said officer fired an “unprecedented number” of shots – around 50 – to take down what they believed to be three suicide bombers.
“I am humbled by the bravery of an officer who will rush towards a potential suicide bomber thinking only of protecting others,” Assistant Commissioner Rowley said.
The trio of terrorists had already killed eight people and injured dozens more in an attack lasting just quarter of an hour.
Police said the rampage started at 9.58pm, when they rammed a hired van into pedestrians on London Bridge, before crashing the vehicle and emerging with large knives and attacking people at random in bars and restaurants surrounding Borough Market.
All three men were dead within eight minutes of the first call to police. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has opened a routine investigation into their deaths, as well as the injury to a member of the public who was hit by a stray bullet.
“We can confirm that 46 shots in total were fired by eight police officers - three officers from City of London Police and five from the Metropolitan Police,” said the IPCC’s deputy chair, Sarah Green.
“We are examining CCTV footage from within Borough Market which we believe shows the majority of the incident relevant to our investigation.
“I recognise that this was a fast-moving and dangerous situation which the police had to respond to extremely quickly.”
Stories of heroic efforts to protect the public have emerged in the days after the atrocity, including a Millwall fan who fought the three attackers barehanded in the Black and Blue steakhouse, giving other diners the time to escape.
Roy Larner was taken into intensive care with severe injuries but described the battle from his hospital bed, saying the killers burst in the restaurant shouting “Islam, Islam” and “This is for Allah”.
“Like an idiot,” he told The Sun, “I shouted back at them. I thought, ‘I need to take the p*** out of these b******s’.
“I took a few steps towards them and said, ‘F*** you, I’m Millwall’. So they started attacking me.”
Geoff Ho, the Sunday Express’ business editor, “had tried to slow” the trio as they advanced on the restaurant, being stabbed in the neck as he defended an injured friend.
Among other “heroes” was a Romanian baker, Florin Morariu, who moved a group of Brazilian women to safety and then took on one of the attackers with industrial crates.
The terrorists entered El Pastor restaurant and stabbed a woman in the chest before fellow diners launched a counter-attack launching chairs and glass bottles, forcing the man back outside as a Spanish nurse kept the injured woman alive.
An off-duty police officer was stabbed after tackling one of the three attackers and remains in critical conditioner.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick praised the "utterly heroic" actions of the officer, adding: "It's hard to pick out individual stories but I am immensely proud of him and what he did".
A British Transport Police officer, who faced the attackers armed only with a baton, was also seriously injured.
In a statement from hospital, the unnamed man said he was “overwhelmed” by public support as he recovers from wounds to his head, arm and leg.
“Like every police officer who responded, I was simply doing my job,” he added.
“I feel like I did what any other person would have done. I want to say sorry to the families that lost their loved ones. I’m so sorry I couldn’t do more and I want you to know I did everything I could.”
Spanish banker Ignacio Echeverría, 39, was last seen trying to defend a woman using his skateboard but has since been confirmed among the eight people killed in the atrocity.
Fresh arrests were made Ilford overnight, seeing armed police detain two men on a street and a third arrested during searches of a home.
Two of the men, aged 27 and 29, were arrested on suspicion of the preparation of terrorist acts, while a 33-year-old was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply controlled drugs.
All three men have been taken into custody at a south London police station as searches continue at the house and an unidentified “business address” in Ilford, believed to be a gym where the attackers were seen five days before the attack.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in