Horrific scenes saw three people stabbed and another pushed to the ground in a desperate bid to intervene in an attempted phone robbery today.
Police said they were hunting two mobile phone muggers seen fleeing the scene after the thugs tried to snatch a man’s phone and have-a-go heroes intervened.
Emergency crews rushed to the scene in Bishopsgate, near Liverpool Street Station – just yards from a police station.
Terrifying images and footage from the area shows blood splattered on pavements outside a glass office building – which was placed under lockdown, along with several others nearby.
Reports from the scene suggest the incident began when bystanders stepped in to stop thieves on bikes – however, police confirmed it was a suspected robbery.
In exclusive footage taken at the scene and given to The Mirror, the horrific moment of the stabbing is shown as London commuters swarm the area.
A delivery driver who witnessed the incident said: “The attackers tried to steal someone’s phone.
“Then three pedestrians and one guy on a motorbike came to help and they got attacked.”
On Twitter bystanders claimed two people wearing balaclavas on electric bikes tried to steal someone’s phone.
One of the people stabbed while trying to stop the thieves was a courier driver, witnesses said.
The masked attackers then fled the scene and a City of London police spokeswoman today confirmed no arrests had been made.
Police arrived at the scene within five minutes and are now seeking two suspects in relation to the attacks and attempted robberies.
Chief Supt Steve Heatley, of City of London Police, said: “Two suspects are being sought as part of the ongoing investigation related to an attempted phone theft and the incident is not being treated as terror-related.”
He added: “Stopping phone thefts and bringing perpetrators to justice is a priority for City of London Police.
“The number of phone snatches is down, due to focused effort including working with colleagues in the Metropolitan Police Service last week to make several arrests.”
Tweets from the City of London police said they were responding to the incident, which they did not believe was terror-related and instead was being treated as an attempted robbery.
A cordon is in place outside of 22 Bishopsgate, spanning about 50m and is being guarded by seven City of London Police officers.
Inside the police tape, medical kits and clothing can be seen spread out on the ground in small piles. The 22 Bishopsgate building is open with workers seen entering and leaving the premises.
Three people were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries after being stabbed in the ensuing melee just before 10am on Thursday.
“We received reports of three stabbings & a person pushed to the floor on Bishopsgate at 9.46am and officers arrived at the scene at 9.51am,” a tweet from the force read.
“Three victims were taken by LAS to a nearby hospital to be treated.
“This is an ongoing situation, but is not being treated as terror-related.”
“This incident is being treated as a suspected robbery. Investigations are ongoing,” the force added.
A male witness, 27, who didn’t want to be named, told The Mirror of how he watched a “middle aged man” fighting a teenager after the latter attempted what “looked like a robbery”.
“Then a guy on the white moped there pulled up and got involved to help out and he ended up getting stabbed as well.”
The witness said the second man was stabbed at least twice, once in right side of chest, and once in the left side of his back.
“He dropped to his knees, then I couldn’t see properly because there were so many people. He was laid on the floor bleeding.”
“Then a third guy got injured in the head. He was the one that was bleeding the most.”
“Lots of people got involved, about five kids and pedestrians, some were just watching. Some were trying to split up the fight,” the witness added.
“A man ran into this building (22 Bishopsgate), I guess to get away from the fighting.
“Next minute, the teenager, all in black, took off running. By this point you couldn’t really tell who was fighting who. The whole thing last two minutes.”
The man said that he initially thought only two people were stabbed in the incident, but information from the City of London police confirmed three people had received knife wounds.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan this afternoon said that the incident was a “reminder of the dangers of carrying a knife”.
“We’ve seen across our country an increase in knife crime injuries,” he told Bauer Media.
“I’m not complacent at all. I think it’s really important to be tough on crime and invested in policing and tough on the complex causes of crime. “
An update from the London Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 9:52am today (October 6) to reports of a stabbing in Bishopsgate, central London.
“We sent a number of resources including three ambulance crews, two advanced paramedics, two incident response officers, a clinical team manager and members of our Tactical Response Unit.
“Our crews treated four patients. We have now taken three of these patients to hospital and one was assessed and discharged at the scene.”
It was not yet known what condition the victims were in.
An eyewitness has said he saw two or three teenagers on bicycles watching a middle-aged man before they grabbed him. He described the knifeman as wearing a mask.
The worker, who asked not to be named, said: “I saw two or three teenagers on bicycles and they were following this middle-aged man, around 40 to 50, who was smartly dressed.
“The next thing I saw was this teenager grabbing this guy, this middle-aged man. Things escalated so quickly. Pedestrians got involved and they were trying to help the middle-aged man. I heard lots of screams and shouts. The next minute, a man on a white moped saw what happened and jumped off, and got himself involved.
“There was a fight with these teenagers. Out of nowhere, the guy on the moped got stabbed. The middle-aged man was already on the floor at this point after he got stabbed and another pedestrian got hurt too, his head was hurt. The teenagers then just took off.”
He added: “The knifeman was wearing a mask”, describing it as a fleece mask which people wear to keep warm.
Local shop worker Sayeed Dukanwala, 53, said: “I was in the shop. I saw fighting over there. A guy was shouting ‘oi oi oi’ and running that way.
“A few minutes later there were four guys on the floor. I believe the guy was stealing phones from pedestrian.”
Sayeed said that something similar happened to him in his shop last weekend.
He continued: “I was in the shop and they tried to steal drinks and they hit me on the head with bottle.
“Luckily it was plastic so I was ok. And 2 guys punched me in the back. They were kids 13/14 years old. [I] called the police.
“This is very scary. How to do the business? Financial problems and this situation too. Rent and everything going higher.”
Nearby offices had reportedly been plunged into lockdown.
A source near the scene had claimed that workers were not allowed to leave their office building since the incident.
Nickie Aiken, Cities of London and Westminster MP, said she was “concerned” about the attack.
She tweeted: “Concerned to learn of the incident in Bishopsgate. I’m in contact with City Police for updates.
“My thoughts are with all those involved including the first responders.”