Streatham attack: 'I didn't stop shaking for hours'

By Sarah Lee
BBC News

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image copyrightGetty Images
image captionA woman near to the scene reacts after a man stabbed two people in Streatham, south London

Streatham High Road - a spot usually bustling with shoppers - is now quiet. As forensic teams search the area for clues, people in this south London suburb have been coming to terms with Sunday's terror attack.

Sudesh Amman, 20, was shot dead by police on Sunday afternoon after stabbing two people in what police called an Islamist-related terrorist incident.

The convicted terrorist was being followed by police when he pulled out a knife and attacked.

Streatham is a far cry from the tourist areas of central London, where previous terror attacks in the capital have taken place.

Many in Streatham are shocked that an event like this could have happened on their doorstep.

Eliza Viscount, 39, had been shopping when the attack happened.

media captionVideo shows moments after police shooting

"I was just out getting usual bits and bobs when I heard police shouting to get back and to get out of the area," she said.

"I had no idea what was going on. I dropped my basket on the floor and ran.

"I didn't stop shaking for hours later. I'm still in shock.

"If that can happen on a quiet Sunday when people are just shopping - well that's very worrying isn't it."

Elizabeth Rowland, another shopper, said she was concerned the attack had happened outside of central London.

"I can't believe it," she said.

"It's not a tourist place or even a landmark. It's a high street.

"There's no political reason for doing it here. It's really concerning that it happened so close to home."

Becky Smyths, who lives in the area, said she heard "so many sirens" echo around Streatham.

image captionBecky Smyths described hearing emergency services respond to the attack on Sunday afternoon
image captionGustof Francis said: "Streatham has its ups and downs - but nothing like this"

"I heard that shots had been fired and I got really scared," she said.

"I only live up the road so it was really scary. It's only February and this has already happened."

Sunday's attack was the third described by police as terror-related in London since the threat level was downgraded by the Home Office in November.

A large police cordon remains in place and forensic teams remained in the Boots pharmacy on Monday swiping the floors for clues.

image captionA large cordon remains in place on Streatham High Road

Although bewildered and concerned, many locals expressed a determination to carry on as normal.

"Yesterday I saw police, armed officers, the army and ambulances swarm to this area," said Qasim Khan, who owns a business near to the scene.

image captionQasim Khan vowed to carry on his life as normal

"It was crazy - just like a movie scene.

"But I will carry on working. I'm not scared."

"There is a need for extra kindness right now," Joanna Lockwood said as she walked her dog Pepper.

"What's really important to know is that this place is very multicultural. We get along together and we're all friends. It's important to let love be the order of the day.

"We must go back into the shops and not let evil win."

image copyrightPA Media
image captionSudesh Amman was shot dead by armed police in Streatham outside a Boots on the high street

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