Knife man's random rampage leaves one dead and five injured
• Man drove around North London randomly stabbing strangers
• Victims were 'a completely random cross-section'
• A 58-year-old man later died from his multiple injuries
"He [the attacker] was coming out of the vehicle, picking people at random, male and female, some were cycling, some were walking and he stabbed them before getting back into his car. It’s horrendous and I don’t know what the motivation is. It has been a terrible morning." - CHIEF SUPT O'BRIEN
Story in full A KNIFE-WIELDING attacker stabbed a man to death and seriously injured five people in a string of random attacks on pedestrians and cyclists yesterday.
The man drove around in north London for about an hour yesterday, stopping his car several times to get out to stab passers-by several times in each case. The attacks stopped after two unarmed police officers arrested a 30-year-old suspect, who was said to have a "history of mental illness", just before 9:30am in the Tottenham area of the city.
Detectives said possible links to the fatal stabbing of shopkeeper Mahmut Fahri in Wood Green, north London, on Wednesday would be a "major line of inquiry".
Chief Superintendent Simon O’Brien said the victims appeared to have been "a completely random cross-section" - men and women, of different ages and ethnicities, were all attacked.
"This morning we are dealing with the tragic death of a man who has been stabbed. My heart and prayers go out to his family," he said.
The 58-year-old man who died was married with children. He suffered multiple stab wounds in Advent Way, Edmonton, but managed to climb a staircase and then stagger towards the warehouse of Reality, a local delivery firm.
Dervish Dervish, 54, a delivery worker described how he had cradled the dying man in his arms and listened to his last words while they waited for an ambulance.
He said the victim had been stabbed once near the heart, once under his ribs, once in the kidney and a fourth time in his back a few inches from his spine. The delivery worker said the dying man told him: "I’ve been stabbed, help me. I was walking down the road and two guys pulled up and got out and started to stab me."
Mr Dervish added: "I asked him why, and he said he didn’t know. Then I thought he had died because he stopped moving. We started to pump his chest and he came to again and someone gave him mouth-to-mouth.
"His heart stopped two or three times and he was gone by the time the ambulance arrived. I felt like crying."
Chief Supt O’Brien said it quickly became clear that they were dealing with a major incident as calls flooded in about attacks which took place over an area of about five square miles.
"It was a very dynamic situation and it was very difficult to know where the next one was going to happen or what was going to happen in the next few minutes," he said.
"He [the attacker] was coming out of the vehicle, picking people at random, male and female, some were cycling, some were walking and he stabbed them before getting back into his car.
"It’s horrendous and I don’t know what the motivation is. It has been a terrible morning."
The first reported attack yesterday came at 8:20am when a 29-year-old man was stabbed outside a train station on Edmonton Green. Then at 8:50am a man, believed to be a local dentist, was found injured in Gladstone Avenue, Wood Green, and 17 minutes later a 30-year-old woman who had been cycling on Compton Crescent was found with serious stab wounds.
At 9:11am, a 50-year-old man was discovered lying stabbed in Ecclesbourne Gardens in Palmers Green. Up to 100 police were now trying to find the attacker and calls came in from witnesses giving the number plate of the attacker’s car.
A suspect was arrested when he pulled up in a red Hyundai car outside his home in Haringey, north London, at 9:24am. Police said a knife was recovered but the man did not put up a struggle.
Three minutes after the arrest, the fatally-injured 58-year-old staggered into the Reality warehouse.
More than an hour and 15 minutes after the suspect was arrested, a 76-year-old pensioner walked into North Middlesex Hospital and told medical staff he had been stabbed.
Police yesterday released CCTV footage of the moments before Mr Fahri was stabbed to death on Wednesday. The main attacker was described as of eastern European or Middle Eastern appearance and aged 30 to 40, while the other man was aged 20 to 30, but it is not believed that either man bore a marked resemblance to yesterday’s attacker.
The five people injured today were taken to North Middlesex Hospital. Early indications were that surgery on four of them had been successful, but the woman cyclist, who was transferred to the London Heart Hospital, was still undergoing surgery last night.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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