Picture via @dannymckiernan on Twitter showing the 2nd attacker not seen in the recent 1st clip from the scene
Info on the woman: Her name is Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, she wanted to keep him focused on her to calm him.
When bystanders in John Wilson Street heard a car smashing into a street sign,
they turned and saw what they thought were two black men trying to help a white
man they had run over.
Instinctively, some started to head towards the chaotic scene in Woolwich, south east London, to offer help, or stopped their cars so they could call for an ambulance.
But what they were witnessing was not a suburban road accident, but the most brutal murder imaginable, as two Al-Qaeda inspired Islamic terrorists hacked at their victim “like a piece of meat” in an “animal” frenzy on the suburban pavement.
The soldier they had targeted was so badly butchered that it looked as if “they were trying to remove organs”, according to one man who saw the first terrorist murder on British soil in eight years.
When they finally finished beheading and mutilating the soldier’s body, they appeared to say a prayer “as if it was a sacrifice”, one witness said.
Police took so long to arrive at the scene that the killers casually paced up and down the street, their hands dripping with blood, making a series of pronouncements that were filmed by onlookers.
“We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you,” one of them said in a London accent.
It was 2.20 in the afternoon when Islamic terrorism returned to Britain’s streets and claimed its first victim since the 7/7 suicide bombings of 2005.
Children at the Mulgrave Primary School were looking forward to home time and adults were waiting at bus stops and going about their daily routines.
Among them was a young soldier, aged around 20, who had been on duty that day in central London and was on his way back to the Royal Artillery Barracks, dressed in a Help for Heroes T-shirt.
Whether his charity T-shirt was what identified him to two Muslim men driving up the road in a blue Vauxhall Tigra is not yet known, but the car suddenly mounted the pavement and ran him over.
An eyewitness called James saw two black men get out of the car and said: “We thought they were trying to help him, we thought they were involved in this crash.
“Then we saw two knives – a meat cleaver – they weren’t small knives, they were like big kitchen knives used in a butchers. They were hacking at this poor guy. We saw the whole incident.
“We thought they were trying to remove organs. They were just hacking at him. Digging and digging and digging and digging. Horrendous.
“I jumped out the car and shouted. One of the black guys went into the crashed car, got into the front, pulled out a bag. He pointed a gun at us.
“He shouted ‘get in the car, get in the car’. I got on the phone to the police, called 999.
“I said you need armed response. You need police. These two guys are chopping this guy to pieces. Literally hacking at something. Like it’s a bit of meat. These two guys were crazed. They were just animals.”
One witness said the killers were “praying like it was a sacrifice”. Another told police the men had shouted “Allahu akbar” – God is Great – as they carried out the attack.
A 42-year-old council worker who saw what happened said: “They were trying to decapitate him for 15 minutes. There was a six-year-old boy there who saw it all, he was crying and shaking. He said he could see the body but not the head.”
Once they had stopped slashing at the body, they dragged the dead soldier into the middle of the road, then returned to the pavement, their hands red with blood, waving their knives and a pistol.
Olu Peluola, 53, was walking up the road when she saw one of the killers standing over the body, holding a long knife.
“I knew he must be dead,” he said. “People were running away and crying, saying ‘he’s dead, he’s dead’.
“I was panicked and called the police but it took them so long to come. I think it was about 25 minutes. Why didn’t they come faster?
“I was scared at first but then just angry at how long it took.
Incredibly, some bystanders courageously went to the body to see if there was anything they could do.
James said: “There were brave women with the body on the floor. They were trying to shield him and covering him. The attackers with the knives they were standing over these women.
“There was people filming it on their phones. The guy with the gun, the tall guy with the beanie, he was going over to the bus asking people ‘take photos of me’. As if he wants to be on TV. He was proud of what he’d done to this poor guy.”
Other witnesses, perhaps too terrified to run away, obeyed orders from the killers to film them as they were threatened with a pistol.
But local police officers refused to approach the killers, instead waiting 20 minutes for an armed response team to arrive.
In the meantime, the terrorists calmly paced the street, waiting for police to confront them and encouraging bystanders to photograph and film them.
It was at this point that the taller of the killers, dressed all in black and with a knife and a meat cleaver carried casually in his hand, was filmed saying: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you.
“We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
“I apologise that women had to witness this today but in our lands our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don’t care about you.
“Do you think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street when we start busting our guns? Do you think your politicians are going to die?
“No, it’s going to be the average guy like you, and your children. So get rid of them. Tell them to bring our troops back so we – so you can all live in peace.”
Meanwhile, in the absence of any police response, some members of the public seemed oblivious to what had just happened. As the killer made his on-camera pronouncement, a woman walked unconcernedly past him wheeling a shopping trolley.
Photographs taken by witnesses showed the second killer, wearing a beige coat, standing talking to a woman as if casually passing the day, a long knife in his hand the only sign of the violence that had just happened.
At one point one of the men fired shots into the air.
Joe Tallant, 20, a van loader who lives near the scene, said: “I was in a shop and I heard gun shots so I came out to see what was happening.
“And I saw a guy with no head lying on the ground. He had been decapitated.
“There were two black guys walking around his body saying ‘This is what God would’ve wanted’.
“My friend and her mum were walking up the hill and the mum came straight to the victim.
“She asked the black guys ‘can I help him?’ And one of them said he was already dead but she could go.
“Then one of them said ‘No man is coming near this body, only women’.
“She was so brave, she didn’t care what happened to her – she knelt down by his side and comforted him.
“She held his hand and put her other hand on his chest. I think she might have been praying.
“My friend (The woman’s daughter) was crying her eyes out.
“The attackers kept on walking around. They had already fired warning shots into the air – that was the shots I heard.
“They were going up to people with cameras just so they could be seen and filmed. They wanted people to know who they were.”
Eyewitness James said: “They had the opportunity to hurt other people if they wanted to,” said James. “They were waiting for something. They had opportunities to run off but it turned out they were waiting for the armed police to arrive.
“As soon as the police come flying round the corner the man with the beanie hat, the tall guy, he charged at the police response vehicle.
“Next thing you know there was six shots fired. Both men went down.”
Julia Wilders, 51, who lives nearby, said: “The man with two machetes ran at the police when they arrived and the police shot him. I saw him fall. The other one looked like he was going to go for his gun, so they shot him too.”
Another witness said a female firearms officer shot one of the men “like Robocop” when he ran towards her with a machete.
James added: “There were so many people there 10 minutes after we were arrived. Shouting at them. They were taking no notice. They were oblivious. They were more worried about getting photos taken. In my opinion they were waiting for police to arrive to be shot by police. It’s like a horror movie. The blood trickling down the road, down the pavement, everywhere.”
Meanwhile teachers at the primary school were preparing to let the children go home for the day.
Julia Wilders’ husband Graham, 50, said: “My nine year old son Steven goes to the school and all I could think about was that it was home time and he would be walking down here soon.
“I saw a load of kids come out of school gates and I just yelled at them to get back.
“I ran up to the school shouting ‘there’s a gunman’ and to get everybody inside.
“The headmaster came out and they closed the school gates and kept everyone in. That was when I heard four shots.”
Luke Huseyin, 32, who lives in a block of flats overlooking the scene, said that after the shots were fired, an air ambulance that had been hovering landed at the scene.
“The paramedics got out and I think they were working on the two men to try and keep them alive,” he said. “A blanket was put over the white guy lying in the road. I just can’t believe what I saw.”
Moments later, the road was cordoned off and John Wilson Street became a crime scene, with the bloodied knives taped to the road under plastic sheets, the victim’s jacket lying on the tarmac and a huge bloodstain on the pavement next to the crashed car which had started Britain’s worst act of terrorism for eight years.