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London Bridge inquests: Pubgoer hit in police crossfire | UK News

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A man who was on a night out with friends on the evening of the London Bridge terror attack ended up with shrapnel wounds from police bullets as he tried to help the injured.

Simon Edwards was in the Wheatsheaf pub when police opened fire on the three men who had been on a rampage through Borough Market.

He told the inquests into the deaths of the eight victims that he had seen three knife wielding men running at a passer-by “like a pack of wolves”.

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

Mr Edwards opened the door of the pub after hearing gun shots to try to get a paramedic to a man who had been hit.

Neil McLelland was inadvertently shot in the head as he watched the scenes unfold in the pub.

Eight people were killed and 48 injured after Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, launched a van and knife attack on 3 June 2017.

Shots were fired at about 10.16pm and three attackers were shot dead by police.

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Mr Edwards said he stepped out of the pub 10 minutes before the men were shot and saw them holding “something glowing” in their hands.

As they moved towards him he could see one was a bearded Asian man in an Arsenal shirt, who was carrying a large knife.

Mr Edwards said: “He had canisters down his torso. I thought it was some kind of bomb.

“As the guy with the Arsenal top attempted to smash the window, a guy walked past. The two others set upon him and the guy [in the Arsenal shirt] went to join them.

“All three of them were attacking the gentleman. They were running at him like a pack of wolves.”

Mr Edwards told of how the man in the Arsenal shirt walked back to the pub afterwards, and then said the next thing he remembered was the pub being filled with blue lights and hearing bullets.

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

Then he noticed blood coming from Mr McLelland’s head, and another customer giving him first aid.

Mr McLelland has since recovered from the gunshot wound.

Mr Edwards agreed that the bullet must have come straight past him, but told Jonathan Hough QC, counsel for the coroner, he had not been aware of it.

He later noticed blood on his face and pain in his knee.

He said: “I am led to believe it was from shrapnel from the police bullets.”

Mr Edwards then opened the pub door to get a paramedic, fearing “every second was critical” because of the head injury.

He saw one attacker on the ground.

He told the court: “I remember he was handcuffed. His legs were moving, so I knew he was not dead. The suicide vest was still in place.”

PC Tim Andrews, patrolling in plain clothes, described the relief he felt when the armed officers arrived on the scene.

He approached one of the attackers as he lay on the ground and said he had his hands clenched on his chest and was covered in blood.

PC Andrews said as he went put handcuffs on him, the attacker didn’t react but his eyes were open and were moving from side-to-side.

The officer said he thought the attacker was wearing a suicide belt and told his colleagues to get back.

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, which lasted less than 10 minutes.

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