Monday 24 October 2016

'He only went for the women'- Four stabbed outside west London supermarket

Rachael Burnett, Press Association

Published 20/05/2016 | 12:36

A forensic officer holding an evidence bag, at the scene. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
A forensic officer holding an evidence bag, at the scene. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

A WOMAN is fighting for her life after a knife man ran into a London car park and indiscriminately stabbed shoppers.

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Four women suffered knife wounds and one was airlifted to hospital in a life-threatening condition.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said a man in his 60s was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder.

The attack, which police said was not believed to be terror-related, took place at around 10.35am on Friday near a branch of supermarket Sainsbury's in Hampton, west London.

A member of staff at the nearby Hampton pub said the attacker "appeared to be out of it" and was only targeting women.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said: "He only went for the women. The man ran through and started attacking them.

"It didn't seem like they knew him. It was completely unprovoked.

"One lady is in very bad condition. She had to be air-ambulanced out.

"He was caught very quickly just outside the car park.

"He appeared to be out of it, on drugs or crazy. He must have been very angry to go out and unprovokedly stab those women.

"The woman who was badly stabbed in the back made it up to the police station and raised the alarm.

"She is well-known locally and always goes shopping there all the time."

The witness added: "If it had been 10 or 20 minutes earlier there would have been children there because it's right outside a primary school."

The Met said officers were called at around 10.35am to The Avenue in Hampton.

A spokesman said: "Officers attended and discovered three women suffering from knife wounds.

"The London Ambulance Service also attended and are providing treatment to the women.

"Their conditions are not thought to be life-threatening or changing at this time.

"A fourth woman who had also suffered knife wounds was subsequently located at a nearby property.

"She has been taken to hospital where her condition at this stage is thought to be life-threatening."

The spokesman added: "At this early stage, the incident is not believed to be terror-related."

A member of staff at Tangley Park Children's Centre, which backs onto the scene of the attack, said: "We kept all the children safe and kept them in the building until we knew it was safe.

"It's just such a shock - our parents and children could have been walking to their cars at that time.

"Our sympathies go out to everyone who was hurt and we are really glad none of our families were involved."

A resident of Partridge Road said: "I'm appalled and absolutely horrified. It's just so scary, this is a quiet area and it's not at all what you think is going to happen in Hampton.

"It's just horrible, that poor, poor woman."

A police cordon remained in place around the car park where the women were stabbed.

Several police officers were standing guard at the scene.

Blood stained clothes could be seen on the ground and a forensic officer was examining the area. One of the victims went to a police office, less than 100 yards from the car park, where she was treated.

A blood stained jacket and first aid kit were still lying on the ground surrounded by police tape outside the Hampton and Hampton North Wards police office. The car park of the Sainsbury's store backs on to a pub, youth centre, children's hospice and school.

Sandi Hillery, 59, who is head of care at Shooting Star children's hospice, helped bring witnesses inside the gates to safety.

She said: "We heard some screams in the car park of Sainsbury's and we were looking out of the office windows and we thought somebody was being attacked - we weren't quite sure what was happening.

"Two of us left the building to go to see if we could help and when we got to Sainsbury's car park it was clear that somebody had been injured and we were told by someone that this lady had been stabbed.

"She was clearly very distressed and needed first aid so we brought her into our building and administered first aid."

Ms Hillery added: "There was a lot of panic in the car park and it soon became clear that there were other people who had been injured.

"There were other people at the bus stop... And we asked them to come into the car park as well when we saw the attacker.

"We saw him with the knife and realised that this was a serious incident and we wanted to get as many people to safety as we could."

She said that the lady they were helping was able to talk but had been stabbed in the back two or three times.

"She was in a state of anxiety because she knew she was bleeding but didn't know how much."

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