Man who used narwhal tusk against London Bridge attacker will be honoured
In this grab taken from video made available by @HLOBlog, a man is surrounded by members of the public before armed police arrived during an incident on London Bridge, in London, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. (@HLOBlog via AP)
TORONTO -- The brave bystander who used a narwhal tusk to help detain the suspect in the London Bridge attack before police arrived will receive a medal of courage from the president of Poland.
British media reports have identified the man as Lukasz, a Polish chef at the Fishmongers’ Hall. The suspect, Usman Khan, began his attack inside the hall during a Cambridge University conference. Two young people, Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, died in the attack.
Toby Williamson, chief executive of the hall, spoke to The Guardian on Monday about how quickly Lukasz jumped into action, grabbing the narwhal tusk off the wall after hearing a scream.
Lukasz used the 1.5 metre-long narwhal tusk to “charge towards the bad guy,” according to Williamson. He hit Khan in the chest with the stick before telling members of the public to get away.
Poland’s Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro posted on Twitter that he would ask Polish President Andrzej Duda to award Lukasz with the Medal for Sacrifice and Courage for “risking his own life” to help overpower the attacker. The medal is awarded to someone who puts themselves at risk to save other people’s lives.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki posted on Facebook that the country is proud of Lukasz.
“Against terrorism, any weapon is allowed,” he posted. “Mr. Luke, your attitude deserves a special thank you and respect.”
In video footage of the London Bridge attack, several witnesses are seen attempting to disarm Khan. One man sprays the knife-wielding suspect with a fire extinguisher while Lukasz runs towards him with the narwhal tusk.
Several people on Twitter praised the bystanders for their quick-thinking actions.
“Three members of the public armed with a fire extinguisher and a Narwhal tusk take the attacker down. Heroes,” wrote Darren Plymouth. While Grace Beverley remarked that she’s still “getting over the fact that someone grabbed a 5 ft NARWHAL TUSK to fight the London Bridge attacker. Hero.”
Khan, 28, was wearing a fake explosive vest and armed with knives when he began his attack inside Fishmongers’ Hall. He was killed by police after bystanders helped tackle him to the ground.
With files from The Associated Press