Eyewitnesses at Willesden terror shooting tell of ‘volley of deafening shots’

The scene in Harlesden Road last night @JakubKrupa/Twitter/PA Wire .

The scene in Harlesden Road last night @JakubKrupa/Twitter/PA Wire . - Credit: PA

People living near Harlesden Road, where a woman in her twenties was shot by police during a terror raid, have told of a series of deafening shots as armed police swooped on the house last night.

Holes in the front window of the house in Harlesden Road. Picture: Nathalie Raffray

Holes in the front window of the house in Harlesden Road. Picture: Nathalie Raffray - Credit: Archant

The woman was shot as officers entered the house, between Parkfield Road and Kings Road, shortly before 7pm last night.

Neighbour James O’Gara told the Brent&Kilburn Times: “We just heard a sound like a car back-firing. A minute or two later there was a second volley of shots. I looked out and saw a number of police. There were armed police on the other side of the road pointing their weapons at the upstairs of the property.

“It all happened so fast, it was incredible how many officers there were. They were going round sealing the road. Then a woman was being forcibly removed from the property. She was screaming and all of a sudden she went quiet, possibly accepting she had to surrender.”

Mr O’Gara said he believed the occupants of the house were originally from East Africa but did not know them.


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Roisin Carty, who also lives nearby, said her family had just eaten dinner and she was settling her three children to watch cartoons when she heard a loud bang.

She said: “The first shot that I heard I thought it was a car back-firing, then a car zoomed down the road and there was a flurry of activity. More cars pulled up and plain clothed officers came out and some were putting on bullet proof vests. After they arrived there was another four deafening shots. That’s when I told the children to move away from the window.

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“Two vans stayed parked there until late. There was such a strong police presence and it all seemed very much under control.

She said many residents living in the cordoned off area were told to move out.

Ms Carty said that mourners leaving a funeral at Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, in Peter Avenue, at the time were turned back.

The injured suspect is being held under police guard after being rushed to hospital in a serious condition following the raid.

The Metropolitan Police said a 16-year-old boy and a 20-year-old woman were arrested at the property and a 20-year-old man was detained nearby.

A 43-year-old woman was arrested in Kent shortly after the raid and all four are being held on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorist acts at a south London police station.

The injured woman has not been arrested due to her condition, which police described as “serious but stable”.

No other injuries have been reported.

Police said the property and people connected to it had been “under observation by counter-terrorism officers as part of an ongoing intelligence-led operation”.

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