Police have launched an investigation into the deaths of a woman and the man who reportedly killed her in west London.
Officers were called at 9am on Monday (24 January) to reports of a stabbing on Chippenham Road, in the Maida Vale area.
The woman was found with multiple stab wounds, and the man – who had been hit by a car – was found in the same location under the vehicle.
The man who died was the knifeman who stabbed the woman to death, and the motorist ran him over in an attempt to save the woman – eyewitnesses told The Independent.
The two people were both pronounced dead at the scene.
A blue Renault Clio had collided with the wall of St Peter’s Church on Chippenham Road. Forensic officers have been inspecting the vehicle.
CCTV footage recorded by cameras on the outside of buses are being inspected for evidence.
The car that had collided with the wall of a church
A number of local residents have said that the woman and knifeman lived in the area and knew each other.
An eyewitness said that the woman who died appeared to be white and in her mid-20s, and that the knifeman was about the same age – and was holding a kitchen knife that looked about 10cm-long.
Jiyad Raad, a structural engineer who has lived on Chippenham Road for more than 10 years, also told The Independent: “This morning I heard some news outside someone shouting ‘help help’.
“I go out I see a woman on the floor and a guy with a knife. I see him three to four times stab her with the knife in the neck.
“I come to him and he scared me with the knife. I said ‘please don’t do it’.
“Then he came and stabbed her again another two to three times until the guy with the blue car in the street tried to stop him and crashed into him with a car.
“The guy with the knife died. The driver tried to save the girl. There was so much blood from the girl – I couldn’t stop it. It’s so sad. She was just a young woman.”
Jiyad Raad said he tried to help the woman, but was threatened with the knife
The knifeman had stabbed the woman “about 10 times” and was wearing a hood and a mask – eyewitness Sam Talal said.
The man in the vehicle, who tried to save the woman, appeared to be Middle Eastern and in his early 20s, he added.
A resident of adjacent Grittleton Road said she heard “loud screams”, and looked outside to see “lots of people running – I think to help. It’s so sad.”
A resident of Chippenham Road, who did not want to be named, said that the knifeman did not die instantly after being hit by the car.
She said: “My son was at home and he was screaming ‘someone is stabbing a lady outside’. I went to the window I saw a lady on the floor and someone above her stabbing her.
“I only saw his back. I thought he was beating her up. There were other ladies on the street shouting ‘help – call the police’. Another guy tried to help, then the knifeman chased him. At that minute I saw the knife.
“A man with a blue car came and hit the guy that had the knife.”
She added: “It’s awful. I just took my son to school – he was shaken. My husband went running to help.
“The knifeman didn’t die instantly, he was asking for help under the car.
“The lady was breathing, so my husband and another guy tried to help her. They put their hand under her head and took her stuff and put it in her bag – a mobile and car keys. Then the police came.”
As well as police officers, London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade attended the incident.
A spokesperson for the ambulance service has said: “We sent a number of resources to the scene, including two ambulance crews, two clinical team leaders, an advanced paramedic, two tactical response units, a medic in a car, an incident response officer, and members of our hazardous area response team.
“We also dispatched by road London’s Air Ambulance.
“Despite our medics’ efforts, two people died at the scene.”
The intersecting street, Elgin Avenue, has been closed
Police are working to inform their families, and post-mortem examinations will be arranged in due course.
There have been no arrests, and police are making enquiries to establish what had happened.
Officers have said that the incident is “contained” and poses no wider threat to the local community.
Det Ch Insp Smithson said: “This morning an incredibly serious incident has unfolded in the Westminster area, which has seen two people pronounced dead.
“Our officers are on scene and are working to establish exactly what has happened.
“As soon as we have more information we will keep the public updated but for now we must avoid speculation and allow investigators to do their work.
“What I can say at this time is that the incident is contained.
“We have spoken to a number of people already – but anyone else who witnessed the incident, or who has information that could help us, is urged to make contact immediately.”
Karen Buck, Labour MP for Westminster North, urged anyone with information relevant to the “horrific” incident to get in touch with police.
Cllr Tim Roca, for the Harrow Road ward, said on Twitter: “Just hearing about the tragic events on Chippenham road this morning.
“Absolutely awful news and fair to say the community is in shock.
“Police are keeping local councillors updated.”
Chippenham Road, as well as the intersecting Elgin Avenue, are closed and buses serving those routes have been diverted.
Witnesses are asked to call police on 101, citing the reference 1496/24jan. To remain anonymous please contact Crimestoppers.