Minute-by-minute accounts of horrified onlookers during Hainault sword rampage

Horrified onlookers have given dramatic accounts of how a sword-wielding man attacked members of the public and police, leaving a 14-year-old boy dead.

As people in properties in the Thurlow Gardens area of Hainault, east London, began waking up, screaming and shouting could be heard from outside at around 6.50am.

The Metropolitan Police said a vehicle had been driven into a house in the area and were called at around 7am.

Hainault incident
Residents reported hearing screaming and shouting (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Concerned residents spoke of a “huge commotion” and the sound of shrieks and screams.

Another man from the area, James Fernando, 39, said the suspect had asked one of his neighbours to “take the telephone from him to tell whoever was on the phone his location”.

He said: “Within two seconds after that she’s realised something isn’t right, started running and he’s pulled a samurai sword from the back of his trousers.

“She’s shouted to the other neighbour – a Nigerian boy who was on his way to school.”

Mr Fernando said he believed the boy was “dead on the spot” as the sword-wielding assailant struck him in the face.

He added: “He was running around, still after the police officers came, with the sword in his hand looking for victims.”

POLICE Hainault
(PA Graphics)

She said the man asked her for the address of the area they were in, then put his foot on her foot so she “couldn’t back off”.

She told ITV: “Once I told the address, he sort of moved closer towards me, he put his foot on my foot so I couldn’t back off and then that’s when he like drew out the sword.

“It was arm’s length. It was honestly petrifying. I just ran down the road, I didn’t even look back to see if he was chasing me.”

Ms Dabasinskaaite said she tried to warn the teenager, adding: “My instinct was to shout and wave at him, which is what me and another neighbour did but because he had just his headphones on I don’t think he heard either of us.

“It was sort of a moment where we just went from shouting to just blankness, just felt empty,” she added. “You wouldn’t think that would happen on your doorstep you know.”

The Metropolitan Police said two officers suffered “significant” wounds after responding to the scene, while two other members of the public also sustained injuries that were not life-threatening.

Emergency services were called shortly before 7am to the incident.

Footage seen by the PA news agency shows the suspect chasing after an ambulance while holding the weapon as a body lies motionless on the ground.

The ambulance parked next to the body lying on the road in Laing Close before quickly driving away from the scene as the man ran after it, shouting – home security video showed.

Others peered out of their windows to see where the noise was coming from.

Some spoke of hiding from the attacker as he wielded the sword next to their properties.

One woman said: “We were very scared and trying to hide and not show ourselves through the window because he was standing right next to our house and he could have seen us if he looked up.

“We were trying to hide but also at the same time taking video of him attacking the police, and of the body on the floor, so, yeah, we were very scared and we didn’t know what to do.”

Hainault incident
Police and forensic investigators remain on the scene following the incident (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

“I saw a policeman and policewoman – normal coppers with the short-sleeved shirts – who chased after him and they were shouting for him to put it down.”

Footage seen by PA showed how police also sprayed a substance in the suspect’s direction, as he tried to evade capture.

An officer was heard shouting “Lock your doors” as the attacker entered residential gardens.

Police could also be heard yelling “Come here”, “Come this way” and “Drop the sword” at the suspect, who could be seen climbing on top of an outbuilding and dropping into a garden.

The Met eventually managed to catch up with the assailant as he jumped over a fence.

One resident spoke of how he witnessed the attacker be tasered in his garden before he was subdued on a neighbouring driveway by armed officers.

The man said: “He went into that driveway and he was being tasered, being told to stop, then he jumped into that other neighbour’s driveway there.

“He was being tasered, went to the floor with all the armed police officers around and he was subdued there for half an hour.”

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