Numerous media outlets are reporting that a man drove a van into a group of pedestrians outside of a mosque in London causing “a number of casualties,” but one witness added that the suspect yelled, “Kill me, kill me, I want to kill all Muslims.”
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) June 19, 2017
The witness said that he restrained the suspect, who yelled that he wanted to kill all Muslims but didn’t further clarify his intentions, for about 30 minutes until the police arrived. The suspect, who is now in custody, reportedly targeted a group of Muslims gathered near a mosque.
I was there when it happened. We were trying to help an old man who was laying on the floor. This big van came and went over all of us. I think at least eight or ten people got injured. Luckily I managed to escape.
Then the guy came out from his van… I managed to get him on the floor. I was holding him… and, even before that, he was screaming, “I’m going to kill all Muslims, I’m going to kill all Muslims.”
This is only one eyewitness account, and the story is still developing, so I’m sure more details will come out. At this point in time, however, it seems likely the driver was an anti-Muslim extremist. Will the media label him a terrorist, though? We’ll see.
The deadly tragedy in London comes the same day as authorities arrested a man in Virginia in connection with the murder of a 17-year-old girl leaving a local mosque. Police discovered the young girl’s body in a nearby pond and later arrested a suspect and discovered the baseball bat they say he used to kill her. There have been no hate crime charges filed in that case yet, but investigators have said they are looking into that option.
All in all, what we know for sure is that several people have been killed today, including many who were guilty of nothing more than being near mosques. We will continue to update you on these evolving stories as we learn more.