Posted on October 4, 2018
Armed police shot Westminster terrorist Khalid Masood three times after he ignored their warnings to stop, inquest hears, as jurors hold their heads in hands during footage of his murderous rampage
- Khalid Masood was shot three times in the chest after stabbing Pc Keith Palmer
- His inquest heard heard two close protection officers ran towards him
- The bodyguards shouted a warning at Masood who continued to approach them
- Within 90 seconds Masood had murdered five people including Pc Palmer
The Westminster Bridge terrorist was shot three times in the chest after he ignored warnings from armed police, an inquest heard.
Khalid Masood, 52, killed four pedestrians using a 4×4 before crashing into gates at the Palace of Westminster and drawing knives to kill PC Keith Palmer.
Shocked jurors placed their heads into their hands as they watched the attack which was captured on CCTV.
The footage showed Masood running towards the Houses of Parliament before he was gunned down with a Glock pistol by a close protection officer.
As PC Palmer, 48, lay dying Masood was taken to St Thomas’ Hospital and was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.
The incident began at 2.40pm and Masood was dead 82 later seconds later.
The Chief Coroner for England and Wales, Mark Lucraft QC told jurors: ‘On 22 March 2017 at 2.40pm, Khalid Masood drove a car across Westminster Bridge his vehicle mounted the pavement and struck a number of pedestrians, killing four of them, Kurt Cochran, Leslie Rhodes, Aysha Frade and Andrea Christea.
‘The vehicle went on to crash into rails on the perimeter of the Palace of Westminster, Masood then left the vehicle.
‘He attacked PC Keith Palmer with knives causing fatal injuries, Masood was then confronted by plain clothed armed officers and shot.’
Detective Chief Inspector John Crossley told jurors: ‘They shouted a warning at him, he continued towards them and having been warned, they fired on Khalid Masood.
‘Khalid Masood was struck, he fell to the floor and was tended to by medical personnel.’
Masood was handcuffed with guns trained at his head while paramedics treated him.
The inquest heard how crowds fled in terror after Masood crashed his Hyundai Tucson into railings and lumbered towards the Palace of Westminster gates armed with two large knives.
Pc Keith Palmer was on duty at the Carriage Gates and stepped forward to confront him.
The officer was driven back and stumbled by a low wall where he was repeatedly stabbed by Masood.
He managed to get away when a colleague distracted the knifeman but collapsed nearby in a pool of blood.
Meanwhile, two armed bodyguards had rushed to the scene and shouted a warning for Masood to stop.
When he failed to comply, one of the close protection officers opened fire.
Detective Superintendent John Crossley played CCTV footage capturing the events of the afternoon of March 22 last year.
Grim-faced jurors appeared shocked when they saw people thrown into the air as Masood swerved on to the pavement to hit them on the bridge.
Some held their heads in their hands on seeing Mrs Frade being struck from behind and sent flying into the path of a bus.
Jurors were also shown the dramatic moment Masood was fatally shot in New Palace Yard.
Images of the close protection officers were blurred out to protect their identities but their guns were clearly visible.
Mr Crossley said an extensive investigation involving more than 1,300 officers and the collection of thousands of hours of CCTV footage had concluded Masood acted alone.
Earlier, Chief Coroner Mark Lucraft QC told jurors they would be required to come to conclusions about the identity of the deceased, when, where and how he died.
But he warned: ‘You are not allowed to express an opinion on other matters.
‘Nobody is on trial here – and inquest does not decide matters of criminal liability. There is no question of attributing blame.’
He added: ‘Please keep an open mind. Do not jump to conclusions.’
Witnesses will include the close protection officers, who will give evidence anonymously, as well as people involved in Masood’s medical care after he was shot.
Before being sworn in, the coroner pointed out the press sitting in the dock of Court One of the Old Bailey.
There were wry smiles from journalists as he told jurors: ‘Don’t worry about the ladies and gentlemen in the dock. They are not defendants. They are the press. They are just sitting there for convenience.’
Jurors have been shown distressing images of the beginning of Masood’s attack on the bridge.
The coroner outlined four main questions for jurors: ‘Who was the deceased, when did he come by his death, where did he die and how did he come by his death?’
The ‘last question is the most significant’, he said.
Masood was killed after ramming the hired Hyundai 4×4 into at least 35 people on the bridge.
Spanish teacher and mother-of-two Aysha Frade, 43, from London, US tourist Kurt Cochran, 54, window cleaner Leslie Rhodes, 75, and Romanian tourist Andreea Cristea, 31, all died of their injuries.
Yesterday the coroner highlighted shortcomings in security at the Palace of Westminster.
He said PC Palmer’s death could have been prevented if armed police had been present at the Carriage Gates.
The inquest continues.