An officer was stabbed and a suspect shot dead as police flooded central Glasgow during a violent incident in Scotland’s largest city on Friday, police said.
Six men, including the officer, were in hospital being treated for injuries, Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson said in a statement, adding that the police were not looking for anyone else in relation to the violence.
“The individual who was shot by armed police has died,” he said.
The injured police officer, aged 42, was described as being in a critical but stable condition and was being treated in hospital, he added.
Greater Glasgow Police said on Twitter that the “situation” was contained and “there is no danger to the general public.”
Video and images on social media appeared to show at least a dozen police — some of them armed —and emergency vehicles outside the Park Inn Hotel on West George Street where the incident took place. Most British police do not carry firearms.
John Nicolas, 27, told NBC News he was staying on the third floor of the hotel, when he heard a male voice screaming for help. He said he raced out to find the elevator was covered in blood.
“I took the stairs and when I got to the lobby, I saw the receptionists had been stabbed and were covered in blood,” he said. “I told them to stay calm, and me and another man started to assist them.”
Nicolas added that he was an asylum seeker from southeast Asia and was living in the hotel with his mother.
Tech worker Matthew Nesbitt, 29, said he saw the commotion from the office block across the street where he works.
“We head a lot of screaming, a lot of panic, a lot of people were running away,” he told reporters on a street near the scene. He added that he saw someone lying injured on the front steps of the hotel, with what looked like stab wounds near the chest.
— UK Rants: No pub for you unless you #GetBackToWork (@uk_rants) June 26, 2020
The normally busy street is close to a large train station and several restaurants and hotels. It has now been closed off, according to Glasgow police, who asked the public to avoid the area.
Nevertheless, dozens of Glaswegians milled near the police cordon shortly after the stabbing and shooting.
“I’ve seen stabbings in Glasgow before. Plenty of them. But not with this kind of armed response,” said Stephen McLean, 51, who was among the dozens gathered nearby. “It’s in a decent part of the city … where you usually feel safe.”
Scottish police said on Twitter they were not treating the incident as terrorism, adding that an investigation was ongoing.
— Antonello Guerrera (@antoguerrera) June 26, 2020
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland told a news conference that it had “been a dreadful afternoon for the city of Glasgow,” before urging the public not to share “unconfirmed information” on social media.
Scotland has its own devolved lawmaking powers from Westminster. It is able to legislate on matters of tax, education and policing, among other issues.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said on Twitter that he was “deeply saddened by the terrible incident,” and thanked the “brave emergency services.”
Deeply saddened by the terrible incident in Glasgow, my thoughts are with all the victims and their families.
Thank you to our brave emergency services who are responding.
— Boris Johnson #StayAlert (@BorisJohnson) June 26, 2020
Scotland, like the rest of the U.K., is in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The country began easing lockdown measures this month, allowing small groups to meet up in parks and re-opening some shops and playgrounds.
Many businesses had not yet re-opened, so it’s likely fewer people than usual were in the town center.