WASHINGTON, May 23, 2013 – Ingrid Loyau-Kennett is an unlikely hero who may have stopped Wednesday’s violent attackers from doing more harm. A 48-year-old mother of two, Loyau-Kennett saw the victim laying in the road, got off the bus she was riding, and went to him hoping to provide first aid.
When she found that nothing could be done for the victim after realizing he was not in a car crash as first thought but something much more violent, she began talking to his attackers, even as they were holding bloodied cleavers and covered in the dead man’s blood.
Loyal-Kennett had been on the bus returning from a Paris shopping trip when it was stopped due to the confusion in the streets. She saw the crashed blue BMW and the man lying in the street. When she got off the bus to try to help him a man “with a black hat and a revolver in one hand and a cleaver in the other came over” and excitedly warned her to stay away from the body.
“I asked him why he had done what had had done,” she tells The Guardian. “He said he had killed the man because he (the victim) was a British soldier who killed Muslim women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was furious about the British Army being over there.”
The man told her he was waiting for the police to arrive, so that he could kill them.
She continued talking to the men, hoping to keep them occupied so they would not cause anymore harm. Just before the police arrived, she re-boarded her bus, watching from the bus as police shot the two suspects, after they charged the emerging officers.
Both attackers are both receiving treatment in area hospitals.
“The officers shot them in the legs, I think,” she told The Guardian.
The well-publicized video of one attacker has him shouting political statements, while gesturing with his bloodied hands gripping a meat cleaver and kitchen knives.
Speaking in English with a strong British accent, the man apologized that women passers-by “have had to witness this” barbarity, saying, “in our land our women have to see the same.”
Their message is one of urging the government to “bring our troops back,” from where British troops are deployed in Afghanistan, also recently supporting the French-led intervention in Mali.
“We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you,” the man declared. “We must fight them as they fight us.”
Quick to condemn the attack and urging police to calm tensions, The Muslim Council of Britain called it a “barbaric act that has no basis in Islam,” adding that “no cause justifies this murder.”
The attack took place outside the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and independent companies of the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards. Fred Oyat, 44, who lives in a high-rise nearby, said he heard four gunshots and went straight to the window.
“I saw one man lying there bleeding, another lying on the pavement being disarmed. A policeman was pointing a gun at him. A third man was lying further up the street… He was bleeding profusely,” Oyat said. “There were four knives on the ground - big kitchen knives. The knives were very bloody.”
(Associated Press contributed to this report)
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