Police have gathered in Birstall, in West Yorkshire, UK, after Labour MP Jo Cox was stabbed and shot by an unknown assailant. West Yorkshire police has confirmed an operation is underway, and another man was injured during the attack.
People in the local area have been encouraged to remain indoors for the time being. One witness said that he saw unmarked BMWs racing up Leeds Road, Morley in search for the attacker, who remains at large. The Yorkshire Post reports that a police helicopter is hovering to search for the shooter, believed to be a man.
Cox won her Batley and Spen seat during the 2015 election. It is unknown how serious her injuries are, but she is currently believed to be alive. A man was shot after allegedly trying to tackle the gunman. He was taken to hospital by ambulance at around 1:30pm. There are some reports of a second man being shot, but this is still unconfirmed.
Yorkshire Police has since released a statement to say that a 52-year-old man has now been arrested in connection to the Birstall shooting, with witnesses saying he had shouted “Britain First.” A man in his 40s or 50s was injured during the attack, along with the Labour MP. There is no information about a third person injured.
The library in Birstall was taped off, and police will remain in the area for the time being.
Witnesses have shared everything they saw at the time of the stabbing and shooting. Cox was reportedly shot at least three times, with one of those being in the face. She was then stabbed and dragged by her hair. She is currently at Leeds General Infirmary, receiving treatment for all her wounds.
Reasons for the shooting and stabbing have not been shared. Some witnesses say she had intervened in a fight and was attacked because of that. Others say she was the primary target. She is a member of the Remain group for the EU referendum, which will take place on Thursday, June 23, 2016 in the UK. Both Leave and Remain campaigns have agreed to suspend their activities for the afternoon out of respect for the serious incident.
St. John’s church in Cleckheaton will be opened between 9am and 12pm for prayer for those who would like to attend. St. Peter’s church, Birstall is open this evening between 8pm and 9pm for a prayer vigil. All are welcome to attend.
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