Saturday 22 July 2017

Witness relives street drama after woman shot in anti-terror raid

Police at the scene in Harlesden Road, London, after a woman in her twenties was shot by police and four people arrested during terror raids
Police at the scene in Harlesden Road, London, after a woman in her twenties was shot by police and four people arrested during terror raids
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A witness has described the moment anti-terror officers opened fire on his neighbour's home followed by a woman in a burka being taken out on a stretcher.

Scotland Yard said a female in her 20s was shot during a police raid in north London, and remains under police guard after being rushed to hospital in a serious condition following the swoop.

The Metropolitan Police said the woman was the subject of an ongoing investigation by counter-terror officers, and was shot as they entered the address in Harlesden Road, Willesden, shortly before 7pm.

One neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said he heard three gunshots and described seeing a "squad" of armed police descend on the street.

Having gone to the flat upstairs to watch the drama unfold, the man said he saw armed officers running up the street and surrounding the property in question.

"They brought down a woman, a lady, in a black scarf, a black burka," he told the Press Association.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu speaks to the media outside New Scotland Yard, London, after a woman in her twenties was shot by police and four people arrested during terror raids in London and Kent
Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu speaks to the media outside New Scotland Yard, London, after a woman in her twenties was shot by police and four people arrested during terror raids in London and Kent

"Then on the road, close to our house, we saw she had been shot - the paramedics and ambulances that were there, they stripped off her clothing to get access to the wounded areas."

Read More: Police arrest man found 'with knives in rucksack' near UK parliament on terror charge

Questioned about her injuries, he said the woman had been carried out of the house on a stretcher, and that she had bandages on her left arm and on the left side of her stomach.

He said the family who live at the property are from Somalia.

He added that he has lived in the residential street for 10 years, and the incident was "quite shocking" and had left his children "frightened".

The man described seeing seven police vehicles parked in the road behind his property before the raid took place, and that it all happened between 6pm and 7pm.

Police at the scene in Harlesden Road, London
Police at the scene in Harlesden Road, London

A mother-of-one who lived next door to the raided house, who gave her name only as Alexandra, said she heard a woman "screaming" shortly after the armed police arrived.

She said she thought the police were coming through her door, and saw officers with "gas masks and snipers".

"We were just about to go shopping until we heard 'bang, bang, bang, bang', went to the window and just saw a number of armed police just there with their guns pointing at our next-door neighbour's window.

"We were really worried - I was screaming to my partner 'Armed police is here, oh my god, armed police' and then again we heard extra bangs, more bangs, so we assumed that's when they were breaking the doors or something.

"They were in the garden - they were everywhere. They swarmed the whole house practically. I wasn't even allowed in my garden - they were telling me '(There's) armed police, go inside'.

"At that point I went to the window just to see what was happening. (I) couldn't really see anything until about after 15 minutes I heard the lady really screaming so we were trying to see if we could see anyone being brought out but we couldn't - my partner thought he saw someone being carried."

She said the woman was "screaming really loud" and described her neighbours as a "standard Muslim couple" of whom she "never suspected anything at all".

"They were a young religious couple ... in their 20s.

"They used to wear their Muslim outfit, for example, but she wasn't covered like completely - she used to wear the whole black thing but you could see her face."

She said police were still in her neighbour's garden on Friday morning following the attack at around 6.55pm on Thursday evening.

Press Association

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News