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Last Updated: Friday, 22 July, 2005, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
Stockwell left in shock by shooting
By Ollie Stone-Lee
BBC News reporter in Stockwell, south London

Stockwell Tube station
A man was shot dead by police at Stockwell station
A small police presence has existed outside Stockwell underground station since the 7 July suicide bombing.

But that did not prepare local workers for the dramatic events of Friday morning.

Gillian Breen, 39, was working on the fruit and flower stall outside the station when police chased a man on to the Tube and shot him.

"We saw armed police with guns running into the station, calmly telling everyone to move, not shouting," she said.

"Only a couple of them were in uniform, the rest were in plain clothes. There were a couple of dozen of them. I thought the guns were machine guns - they were quite big."

'Frightening'

Ms Breen said passengers from the Tube started walking out from the station. One of them said she had heard shots and they let her sit down at the flower stall before police told them to move on.

"It is so frightening. You think: 'What the hell is going on - is it another suicide bomb?'"

I just saw people running and I was told to close up
Stockwell worker

There was no surgery at the local vet. Instead, a police officer stood in the doorway and outside two people were questioned by a police officer at one of the bus stops inside the cordon.

But the gaze of the local residents was on the Tube station where the shooting took place.

Some were still milling around a few hours after the events.

One man who works in one of the businesses in the station was reluctant to say much about what happened.

Inconvenience

He said: "I just saw people running and I was told to close up and so we left."

That sense of inconvenience was shared by some of the onlookers.

Asked why he was standing waiting, one man said: "There's nothing else to do. I can't go to where I wanted to, can I?"

If they are using the name of Islam to do this sort of thing, they are absolutely wrong
Toaha Qureshi
For Hassan Fahmy, 33, the disruption has meant that he will not make it to the local mosque in time for Friday prayers.

He said he doubted that those behind the recent bombings could be Muslims, saying that he has more freedom in Britain than he enjoyed in his native Egypt.

"Whoever did it, I am sure they have not lived in this country for the simple reason that they have not been in touch with the actual English people - I don't mean Tony Blair."

And one of the trustees of Stockwell Mosque, Toaha Qureshi, who was in meetings about the problems in the aftermath of the bombings when he heard about the incident at Stockwell, stressed that Islam did not support or condone any acts of terrorism.

"If they are using the name of Islam to do this sort of thing, they are absolutely wrong."

'Unsettled'

But he also said that the British authorities had failed to react in time when the Muslim community warned five years ago that there was a possible threat and stressed the need for diversionary activities for young Muslims.

South African Mandy Williams, visiting London from Johannesburg, was with her friend Ryan Tuohy in his Stockwell home when they heard the blaze of sirens and realised the news reports of the incident were coming from just 100ft away.

Mandy said: "I feel unsettled but I also feel inspired. I am very interested in the arts and have spent days at the National Gallery.

"It is an incredible experience to one minute be seeing the most beautiful works of art and then walking outside and just experiencing terror. A lot of mixed emotions."




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Watch an eyewitness account of the shooting



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