Sunday, May 19

14-Year-Old Boy Killed in London Sword Attack, Police Say

A teenager was killed and four others, including two police officers, were hospitalized after a man with a sword went on a stabbing rampage in northeast London early Tuesday morning, the authorities said.

A 14-year-old boy died after being taken to a hospital, Stuart Bell, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police, said at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon. (The police initially said the child was 13 before later correcting his age.)

Four others were injured, Mr. Bell said, including two police officers. All four remain hospitalized, he said, and some sustained significant injuries.

Just before 7 a.m., the police received reports of a vehicle being driven into a house and several people being stabbed in Hainault, a neighborhood in northeast London, according to a statement from the Metropolitan Police.

Video footage of the attack circulating on social media showed a man wearing a yellow sweatshirt wielding a large sword outside a row of houses on a residential street.

The man, whose name has not been released, went on to attack more members of the public and two police officers, the police said. A suspect, a 36-year-old man, was arrested at the scene, the authorities said.

The episode did not appear to be linked to terrorism, the police added, and there was no ongoing threat to the public.

The suspect was also hospitalized for injuries he sustained when the van struck the building, Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe of the Metropolitan Police said in a follow-up briefing. “Given his injuries, we have been unable interview him.”

An initial review found “no trace” of the man having previous contact with the authorities, she said, adding that the investigation was ongoing.

“We are trying to understand exactly what happened and why,” she said, adding that it would take time to establish the facts. “This is an incident which has clearly shocked everyone.”

Mayor Sadiq Khan of London said in a statement that he was devastated over the news and that additional patrols would be added to the area.

“The police officers and emergency services showed the best of our city — running toward danger to protect others and I thank them from the bottom of my heart,” he said.

The emergency response “stopped further tragedy from occurring,” said Jas Athwal, a member for the local council. “It’s through their quick thinking that they have managed to salvage something from today.”

“We’re a strong knit community,” he added. “We will be there for our residents, our neighbors, as this goes into the future.”

James Cleverly, Britain’s home secretary, said on social media that he was receiving regular updates about the attack. He urged people not to speculate or share footage of the episode online.

Knife crime has been on the rise across England and Wales for about a decade, according to the Office for National Statistics. Knife crime recorded by the police in the year ending September 2023 increased by 5 percent, to nearly 49,000 offenses, compared with the previous year, the data showed, although it was lower than in 2020.