Glasgow stabbing incident not being treated as terrorism

A major incident in Glasgow in which a suspect was shot dead and six people injured is not being treated as terrorism by police.

Police Scotland said a male suspect was shot by an armed unit and an officer is in a critical but stable condition.

The Scottish Police Federation (SPF) confirmed a male officer had been stabbed and his family has been informed.

All six injured people, including the 42-year-old officer, are being treated in hospital.

The other victims were men aged 17, 18, 20, 38 and 53.

Police said there is no danger to the public, with officers in attendance in West George Street in the city centre on Friday afternoon.

The incident happened at the Park Inn Hotel in West George Street.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>(PA Graphics)</figcaption>
(PA Graphics)

A spokeswoman for campaign group Positive Action In Housing said the 91-room hotel was housing asylum seekers for the Mears Group, which moved them there during the coronavirus lockdown.

The organisation has declined to comment on the situation.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “First and foremost, my thoughts are with all those people who have been caught up in this terrible incident, particularly the six injured people taken to hospital for treatment, as well as residents and staff at the hotel.

“I also want to thank all of those police officers whose quick and decisive actions contained the incident – one of whom was among those taken to hospital – as well as the work of the other emergency services.”

She added: “The Justice Secretary and I have been kept informed through the afternoon and briefed by the chief constable.

“While such a serious incident is rare in Scotland, it is another reminder of the courage and professionalism of our police officers who are willing to run towards danger in order to protect the lives of others.

“Clearly there is already much speculation around this incident, which remains under investigation.

“I would urge everyone to avoid such speculation, to not share potentially harmful or upsetting material on social media and to follow police advice while investigations are underway.”

Ms Sturgeon also said the police response “undoubtedly ensured that a very, very serious incident didn’t become much worse”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “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.”

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Police at the scene in West George Street (Andrew Milligan/PA)</figcaption>
Police at the scene in West George Street (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Assistant chief constable Steve Johnson said: “Officers were on the scene within two minutes, and armed officers shortly afterwards, and the incident was quickly contained.

“Our thoughts are with the families of those who were injured, including our officer.

“The incident is not being treated as terrorism and our investigation is continuing into the circumstances.”

He added: “There is no wider risk to the public, however, the street remains closed and people should avoid the area.

“As would be the case in any police discharge of firearms involving a fatality, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has instructed the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) to investigate.”

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Police and forensic officers at the scene (Andrew Milligan/PA)</figcaption>
Police and forensic officers at the scene (Andrew Milligan/PA)

One witness, who gave his name as John, told the PA news agency he saw two people stabbed in the hotel.

He said he came down from the third floor of the hotel to see the reception covered in blood.

“One receptionist had been stabbed behind the receptionist desk,” he said.

“And then when I went down to the entrance I shouted at him and told him to stay calm and I will call for help

“When I went to the entrance I saw another receptionist was fighting for his life and had been stabbed.

“There were two police officers there assisting him.”

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Emergency services presence in West George Street (@Milroy1717/PA)</figcaption>
Emergency services presence in West George Street (@Milroy1717/PA)

Witness Craig Milroy, who saw the aftermath of the incident from an office building nearby, said he had seen four people taken away in ambulances.

He told the PA news agency: “I saw a man lying on the ground, of African descent, with no shoes on.

“He was on the ground with someone holding his side – I don’t know if it was a bullet wound, a stab wound, or what it was.”

Mr Milroy said the man was one of the four taken away by medics and believed him to be a victim of an attack.

He added: “After that we saw commotion, ambulances further up and we saw armed police all running into the hotel next to the Society Room.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “We are aware of an incident at West George Street in Glasgow, which is currently being investigated by the police.”

Tom Flanagan Karttunen, of the Radisson Hotel Group, said: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic event that happened today on West George Street in Glasgow.

“During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the hotel has been occupied for temporary housing.”

He added: “We are working with the hotel owner and all the relevant local authorities, including Police Scotland, to support the investigation.”