By Jarod Jones
Four people were killed, including a police officer and the attacker, during a terrorist act near parliament on March 23. Police say 29 other people were hospitalized and seven are in a critical condition. The assailant was named Khalid Masood, a 52 year old who was born in Kent. He drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge killing two people before crashing it. Afterwards, leaving the car behind to get into the Parliament building. He stabbed an unarmed police officer before being shot by other armed officers. The police officer was identified as 48 year old Keith Palmer, who had 15 years of service with the Parliamentary Defense Force. He has since died from his injuries.
Prime Minister Theresa May said the attacker had been investigated previously by MI5 on grounds of extremism, though the investigation never continued. Masood had a range of previous convictions for assaults and possession of offensive weapons and most recently in December of 2003 for possession of a knife. The Islamic State has since claimed responsibility for the attack, releasing a statement calling the attacker “a soldier of Islamic State.” Devin Hale, a Senior at North Eugene High School, states that “these things seem to keep happening where you think they won’t, and it’s a bit spooky having something like that so close to parliament.”
Masood is believed to have acted alone but police are investigating possible connections, and have searched six addresses in Birmingham, London, and other parts of the country. Five men and three women were arrested on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts. “We are not afraid and our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism” says Theresa May. The prime minister was evacuated from parliament during the attack, and described the fallen officer as “a hero.” The victims of the attack came from many different walks and places including Britons, three police officers, four students, Frenchmen, South Koreans, Romanians, Greeks, Chinese, Italian, American, Polish, Irish, and a German woman. “It’s so sad watching such random acts occur; you don’t realize how many people it effects until it keeps happening,” remarks Riley West, another Senior here at North Eugene.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said “Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism” in a video statement. World leaders condemned the attack and offered condolences. The US president, Donald Trump, Promised the UK the full support of the US in responding to the attack. Leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Spain, and others sent messages of compassion. Extra police are now on duty across London, and the police force set up a bureau for those worried about friends or family. A service took place on Thursday morning, in front of the fiery tribute to all area police officers.