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London Bridge inquests: ‘Have-a-go hero’ threw chair and glasses at attackers | UK News

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A man has said he chased the London Bridge terror attackers, throwing pint glasses and bottles and shouting at them to “come and get me”.

Gerard Vowls told the inquest into the attack that he tried to warn as many people as he could as the three men went on the rampage stabbing people.

Eight people were murdered and 48 injured in the van and knife attack on 3 June 2017.

Mr Vowls told the Old Bailey he was heading home after the Champions League final home when he encountered some of the first victims.

He broke down as he described a young woman pleading for help as the three attackers made “40 to 50” stabbing motions “thrashing at the girl”.

The victims were all killed in the space of ten minutes.
Image:
The victims were all killed in the space of 10 minutes.

“That is the worst part. That’s what gives me the nightmares. She kept saying, ‘help, help me’,” he said.

“I heard one of them say, ‘this is for Allah’.”

Mr Vowls tried to pick up a Santander ‘Boris bike’ to throw at them but he said it was too heavy.

The inquest heard he shouted: “You cowards, you c****. Come and get me.”

“I don’t think they were taking any notice of me,” he said.

“I think they were sort of jogging left and right looking for the victims so they could attack them.

“I started shouting, ‘terrorists’. I was pointing at them, going ‘run’. I was just trying to warn as many people as I could.”

Mr Vowls ran after them into Borough Market, where they were trying to get into a restaurant.

People leave the area with their hands up after an incident near London Bridge in London
Image:
The bars and restaurants were busy because it was Saturday night

CCTV footage showed him throwing a chair at close range towards attacker Khuram Butt, before one of them followed him.

He continued to throw things at the men as their rampage carried on – Mr Vowls said his plan was to drive them into the hands of police on the main road.

“When I got to the Wheatsheaf pub, there was a couple of barrels outside, pint glasses and bottles,” he said.

“I shouted at them again, ‘terrorist cowards’, and just started throwing pint glasses and bottles at them – everything that was there.”

Mr Vowls said he waved at people in the Black and Blue restaurant from across the road to warn them, but he saw at least two people stabbed as the attackers went inside.

Realising there was not much he could do, he went to find police.

He found two unarmed officers and it was then he heard gunfire as the terrorists were shot dead.

An American tourist knifed in the head, face and back also gave evidence on Tuesday and thanked emergency services for saving him after “flatlining twice”.

L-R: London Bridge attackers Rachid Redouane, Khuram Butt and Youssef Zaghba
Image:
L-R: London Bridge attackers Rachid Redouane, Khuram Butt and Youssef Zaghba

Robert Piersant was helped by three off-duty doctors and a police officer.

“I would like to say that I’m very grateful for the state of the police departments and their assistance, and especially PC Sam Philpot, who never left my side,” said Mr Piersant, from Colorado.

“The doctors did great things putting me back together, but if it wasn’t for that PC I would not have got to the hospital.”

Describing the moment the ambulance turned up, he said: “I remember that very vividly, just like you hear on TV. I didn’t have a pulse, I didn’t have breaths. I recall flatlining twice.”

Xavier Thomas, 45, Christine Archibald, 30, Sara Zelenak, 21, Sebastien Belanger, 36, James McMullan, 32, Kirsty Boden, 28, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, and Ignacio Echeverria, 39, were all killed in the attack.

The three terrorists were shot dead within 10 minutes.

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