Elizabeth O’Neill – whose son, Daniel, was stabbed in the London Bridge attack on 3 June – has reached out to thank the members of the Metropolitan Police who put their lives on the line to stop the attackers and whom she believes ensured her son’s survival.
Sitting down on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, O’Neill explained that her 23-year-old son had stepped out of a bar when a man ran up to him and “stuck a knife straight in him”.
When police arrived on the scene, they shut down the attack within eight minutes. Unidentified officers then took Daniel to hospital themselves rather than wait for an ambulance.
“I just wanted to say thank you to the police,” she told Met Commissioner Cressida Dick, via a live camera link. “I don’t know who they were, but they had my son in the back of the car across their laps.
“They drove him to hospital very quickly.”
O’Neill added that her son now has a “seven-inch scar going round his belly to his back” and is currently still receiving treatment in hospital.
His mother emotionally credits the fact he survived to the Met.
“I have no idea who they were, but I just wanted to say thank you,” she said. “I’m so grateful.”
Commissioner Dick, moved by O’Neill’s words, responded: “Please send our best messages to Daniel. I will find out who those officers are and personally thank them.”
From the very first 999 call at 10.08pm, police knew that every moment would count and, in just eight minutes – or 480 seconds – the three suspected terrorists in Borough Market had been found and shot dead by officers in armed response vehicles.
Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, has lauded his colleagues, saying: “There can be no doubt that the swift response of our colleagues – both armed and unarmed – saved further lives from being lost.
“There are barely words to describe their bravery – officers who ran towards danger with no thought for their own safety.
“Londoners can rightly be proud of their emergency services.”
Commissioner Dick, similarly, has praised an off-duty police officer who tackled one of the three attackers at the scene. The “utterly heroic” amateur rugby player was stabbed in the attempt, and remains in a critical condition.
Dick added: “It's hard to pick out individual stories but I am immensely proud of him and what he did.”
Elsewhere, a British Transport Police officer has been commended for his “outstanding” bravery after facing down the attackers armed only with his baton.
Chief constable Paul Crowther of the BTP said: “For an officer who only joined us less than two years ago, the bravery he showed was outstanding and makes me extremely proud.
“All of us at BTP wish him a swift recovery, and I know he will be touched by the hundreds of messages of support from across the UK and the world.
The officer was seriously injured but is now in a stable condition.
Seven people were killed in the attack, which saw a vehicle plough into pedestrians around London Bridge, before three men exited and began stabbing passers-by.
Forty-eight others were injured in the attack.
The police have urged the public to remain “calm, vigilant, and alert” and to report any suspicious behaviour to the police on 0800 789 321.
Images: Rex Features