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Westminster attacker lawfully killed by minister's bodyguard, jury finds

A minister’s bodyguard lawfully killed Khalid Masood because the Westminster Bridge attacker charged against him after his murderous rampage, a jury has concluded.

Masood, 52, from Kent, killed 5 folks on 22 March ultimate 12 months in an assault lasting 82 seconds, prior to being shot lifeless by way of a detailed coverage officer known simplest as SA74.

He drove his automotive into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing Kurt Cochran, 54, Leslie Rhodes, 75, Aysha Frade, 44, and Andreea Cristea, 31, and significantly injuring 29 others.

He then crashed his employed car right into a barrier on the Palace of Westminster, jumped out and ran against the gates of parliament, the place he stabbed Keith Palmer, a police officer, to demise.

Westminster Bridge assault graphic
Parent graphic

The jury on the Outdated Bailey in London reached a conclusion of lawful killing on Friday afternoon after previous being directed by way of the manager coroner of England and Wales, Mark Lucraft QC, that it used to be the one secure interpretation of the info.

Lucraft mentioned the armed officer who shot Masood 3 times with a Glock pistol “truthfully believed it used to be vital” in defence of himself and others.

After two hours and 22 mins, the jury mentioned Masood used to be intent on causing “critical hurt” when he stormed in the course of the gates and have been issued with verbal warnings, however “endured to transport towards the shut coverage officials at pace” prior to he used to be shot.

Talking outdoor the court docket, Neil Basu, Britain’s maximum senior counter-terrorism officer, mentioned: “The 2 armed shut coverage officials who faced this particular person acted with nice braveness. They certainly averted others from being injured and extra lack of lifestyles. I pay tribute to their super professionalism and their bravery.”

CCTV pictures aired on the inquest confirmed SA74 heading against Masood prior to transferring backwards in an try to give the attacker a possibility to forestall prior to he opened fireplace. The officer, who wept whilst giving testimony, mentioned he shouted at Masood to drop the knife nevertheless it had no impact. “He used to be going to kill me,” he mentioned.

His colleague, recognized simplest as SB73, informed the inquest he shouted warnings on the attacker, however Masood didn’t trade path or pace and carried on against them. He mentioned he may just no longer recall to mind a better justification for having to fireside.

Victims of Westminster attack

The sufferers of the assault, from left: Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade, Leslie Rhodes, Andreea Cristea and Kurt Cochran. : Metropolitan police/PA

Each coverage officials temporarily performed first assist on Masood after he used to be shot. The inquest heard 3 gunshot wounds have been discovered all through an post-mortem. The primary bullet, which struck his higher torso, used to be believed to be the reason for demise.

In his summing-up to the jury, Lucraft defended the movements of the then performing Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Craig Mackey, who stayed in his automotive because the assault happened whilst he used to be being pushed out of the Palace of Westminster.

The coroner mentioned Mackey, now the deputy commissioner of Scotland Backyard, had no manner of shielding himself. “It’s transparent from the proof of Sir Craig there used to be not anything he can have executed to forestall Masood,” he mentioned. Basu described complaint of Mackey as “abhorrent”.

The inquest began after the realization of inquests into the deaths of his sufferers, that have been heard by way of Lucraft, sitting with out a jury. Lucraft concluded that armed officials guarding New Palace Backyard would possibly were in a position to stop Palmer’s demise, had they complied with a demand they have been ignorant of to stay in shut proximity to the gate.

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