Reports began to surface around 8:50 PM local time that a man armed with a knife was holding a woman hostage in Central London’s Leicester Square. Metropolitan Police have confirmed that the situation has been “resolved,” with one man under arrest for causing the incident.
The man – identified by Sky News as an ex-employee at Bella Italia Restaurant, where the hostage situation took place – apparently used a knife to hold a woman hostage for some time, with at least two others believed to be in the restaurant. Police responded to the report by cordoning off the entire Leicester Square area and deploying negotiators to resolve the situation. Police were quick to dismiss the incident as terrorism-related, and noted that those inside the building appeared to know the suspect.
London hostage drama over w/ one in custody. Police say NOT terror related. https://t.co/gBwz1z50tK
— Catherine Botman (@cat_botman) February 24, 2016
Situation between Leicester Square and Charing Cross Road. Lots of police and people trapped in restaurants. pic.twitter.com/vpsEqc4LKf
— James Robinson (@jamesrobinson) February 24, 2016
— ITV News (@itvnews) February 24, 2016
The negotiator is handling it pretty well. pic.twitter.com/jjLlbAnm1V
— Jordan Brown (@trtzbass) February 24, 2016
An eyewitness told BBC News that police shut down neighboring businesses and forced all buildings into lockdown mode. No one was allowed to exit the buildings they were currently in. “They then kept us inside. We can’t leave. They’ve close the road,” a musician who was told to end his concert at a neighboring venue said.
London hostage over. Police just raided. pic.twitter.com/3IWG7DbUlO
— Sean Christian (@seanc999) February 24, 2016
— MI News Place (@minewsplace) February 24, 2016
Police have yet to release the name of a suspect.