Wednesday 20 September 2017

Westminster attacker Khalid Masood killed by single bullet to his chest - inquest

The scene of the attack at Westminster last week (Left: Attacker Khalid Masood)
The scene of the attack at Westminster last week (Left: Attacker Khalid Masood)

David Wilcock

Westminster terror attacker Khalid Masood was killed by a single gunshot to his chest, an inquest has heard.

The extremist was gunned down by an armed police officer after gaining access to the Palace of Westminster grounds during his rampage on March 22 in the heart of political London.

Westminster Coroner's Court heard on Thursday that the Kent-born 52-year-old earlier mounted the kerb twice in a Hyundai car as he sped across Westminster Bridge, killing three people and leaving dozens injured.

He then mounted it a third time, crashing, and then charged into the Palace of Westminster grounds armed with two knives, killing Pc Keith Palmer.

A young girl lights a candle during a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square. Photo: GETTY
A young girl lights a candle during a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square. Photo: GETTY

In total his attack, which left four people dead, lasted just 82 seconds.

A coroner's officer told the inquest that a post mortem on Masood was held on March 23 and the "provisional cause of death given at the time was a gunshot wound to the chest".

Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent John Crossley, who is leading the investigation into the attack, told the inquest: "The male attacked a police officer on the ground with two knives, causing grave wounds.

"He was then shot dead by a police officer."

Read More: London terror victim who was thrown into the Thames still fighting for life

He added Masood was pronounced dead at 3.35pm, around an hour after the attack happened.

His body was taken to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington before being moved to a morgue.

Chris Lovatt, operations team leader with the Independent Police Complaints Commission, told the hearing that staff from the watchdog had met on Wednesday with Masood's wife Rohey Hydara, and his mother Janet Ajao.

The latter previously said she had "shed many tears" for her son's victims.

Before being radicalised and converting to Islam, Masood was known by names including Adrian Ajao and Adrian Elms.

Read More: Westminster terrorist's 'shocked' wife 'totally condemns his actions'

An inquest into his four victims, Pc Palmer, 48, American tourist Kurt Cochran, 54, retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes, 75, and Aysha Frade, 44, was opened and adjourned by Dr Fiona Wilcox on Wednesday.

It heard that Pc Palmer died despite despite wearing standard issue body armour.

Adjourning the inquest to May 19, senior coroner Dr Wilcox said: "I take a moment to pass my sympathies to the family of Masood, who are also all victims of this incident."

The full inquest is due to be held at the Royal Courts of Justice.

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