LEIGH-ON-SEA: The fatal stabbing of British lawmaker David Amess was a terrorist incident, police said Saturday, as MPs pressed for tougher security in the wake of the second killing of a UK politician while meeting constituents in just over five years.
Veteran Conservative MP David Amess, 69, was talking with voters at a church in the small town of Leigh-on-Sea east of London when he was stabbed to death on Friday. Police said they arrested a 25-year-old suspect and were investigating "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism".
Police have said the investigation is in the "very early stages", though multiple UK media outlets, citing sources, reported that the suspect was believed to be a British national with Somali heritage.
The Sun tabloid reported that the attacker stabbed Amess multiple times in the presence of two women staff, before sitting down and waiting for police to arrive. Police said they believed the attacker acted alone and carried out searches at two addresses in the London area.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the scene to pay his respects on Saturday, laying floral wreaths outside the church with the leader of the opposition, Labour leader Keir Starmer in a rare show of unity, along with the Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle and Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Members of the public also came to lay bouquets next to the police tape surrounding the crime scene. One bouquet enclosed a handwritten note saying: "RIP Sir David. You did not deserve this."