Police shot dead a man suspected of stabbing several people in a Glasgow hotel reportedly being used for asylum seeker accommodation on Friday afternoon.
The incident took place after 1300 in central Glasgow and saw one man killed by a police officer and six individuals, including a police officer, stabbed The incident appears to surround the city’s Park Inn Hotel, with injured individuals carried out of the hotel on stretchers. Police are not treating the attack as terrorism-related.
Three people — possibly including the perpetrator — were initially reported to have been killed by several local sources. As the British state broadcaster the BBC reports this, fortunately, appears to have not been the case, and Police Scotland have subsequently confirmed one fatality and six injured.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson made a statement on behalf of Police Scotland when he said:
Officers were on the scene within two minutes, and armed officers shortly afterwards, and the incident was quickly contained. A man was shot by armed police and has died. Six other men are in hospital for treatment, including a 42-year-old police officer, who is in a critical but stable condition. The officer’s family is aware.
The other men in hospital are aged 17, 18, 20, 38 and 53. Liaison officers have been appointed. Our thoughts are with the families of those who were injured, including our officer.
The incident is not being treated as a terrorism and our investigation is continuing into the circumstances.
Many hotels in the United Kingdom are presently closed because of coronavirus restrictions which make long-distance travel difficult. Reports quickly emerged that this hotel was one of a number leased by the British government and local authorities to host asylum seekers, and eyewitness accounts related the presence of asylum seekers in the hotel at the time of the attack.
It is not known if those individuals were in any way involved in the mass stabbing, however.
The grisly scene was described by an eyewitness speaking to the Glasgow Times, who explained they were a resident at the hotel and left their room when they heard screams for help. They told the paper:
I came down, when I got to the lift it was covered in blood. I took the stairs and by the time I got to the reception, it was covered in blood. The floor was covered in blood.
It looked like the receptionist had been stabbed. When I walked round to the separate entrance another receptionist had been stabbed. It looked like two receptionists had been stabbed.
I am worried about the asylum seekers who are still inside the hotel.
An April report in British left-wing mainstay The Guardian made specific reference to the arrangements made for asylum seekers in Glasgow hotels, where it complained of the poor conditions new arrivals to the United Kingdom face. The paper noted the migrants had their pocket money withdrawn, and had to get by on ” three meals a day, basic toiletries and a laundry service”.
Another report by fringe-left pro-Scottish independence magazine Bella Caledonia mentions Glasgow’s Park Inn hotel in an article about the living conditions of asylum seekers brought to the area’s hotels for accommodation.
Dozens of police vehicles, including unmarked armed response cars, and ambulances responded to the scene. One eye witness told UK broadcaster Sky News that:
I saw people being treated with blood on the ground.”I saw people running out of the hotel with the police shouting ‘put your hands up, put your hands up, come out… I saw at least three people injured and they were taken away in ambulances.
There were quite a number of people coming out with their hands up, running down the steps of the hotel.
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
Britain’s politicians once again had nothing serious to say about the latest episode of violence, but were quick to offer empty platitudes. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the most powerful man in the country and with the power to take major decisions to safeguard the people of the country — as he did during the coronavirus outbreak, for instance — tweeted that he was “deeply saddened” and said his “thoughts” were with the victims.
Also offering “thoughts”, but not even “prayers” as was once customary in the aftermath of terror attacks was Home Secretary Priti Patel, who is responsible for policing, counter-terrorism, and immigration among other competencies, who said she was deeply alarmed and offered “thoughts”.
Scotland is a devolved region of the United Kingdom and has its own parliament and police force. Leading that local government is left-wing-nationalist Nicola Sturgeon, who like her national colleagues offered “thoughts to everyone involved”, and warned locals to not “share unconfirmed information”.
Deeply alarming reports coming from Glasgow.
Please follow police advice and avoid the area.
Thoughts are with the emergency services as they continue to respond to this incident.
— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) June 26, 2020
This story is developing