Did he trip or was he thrown?
News Brief – July 23, 2005
Journalist Chris Martin said he was waiting at Stockwell station when several men burst onto the platform.
"There was a lot of shouting, I thought it was football fans or something," he told the UK's Press Association.
"There was obviously some sort of altercation going on, and then they came flying onto the platform and THESE GUYS JUST THREW THIS MAN INTO THE OPEN DOORS OF THE TRAIN.
"Then I heard shots. I thought it was three but someone else said five. It sounded like a silencer gun going off, and then there was blind panic, with people shouting and screaming and just running away.
"I didn't actually see the gun, but I heard this 'bang, bang, bang.'"
Another account, from a witness who may well actually work for police forensics, tells a similar tale. But note, there are subtle differences:
One witness, Mark Whitby, told BBC news the man appeared not to be carrying anything but was wearing a thick coat that looked padded.
Whitby said a young Asian man was shot five times after being chased into a train carriage by three men.
"As the man got on the train I looked at his face. He looked from left to right, but he basically looked like a cornered rabbit, like a cornered fox. He looked absolutely petrified," said Whitby.
"He sort of tripped but they were hotly pursuing him and couldn't have been more than two or three feet behind him at this time.
"He half-tripped, WAS HALF-PUSHED TO THE FLOOR. The policeman nearest to me had the black automatic pistol in his left hand, he held it down to the guy and unloaded five shots into him.
"He looked like a Pakistani but he had a baseball cap on, and quite a thickish coat. It was a coat like you would wear in winter, a sort of padded jacket. It looked out of place in the weather we've been having."
Whitby said he had been about five yards away from where the incident occurred and was "totally distraught" by what he had seen.
He said 10 to 15 police officers armed with pistols and sub-machine guns had run down to the platform as he was helping an elderly woman away from the train.
"It was just mayhem ... I've never seen people move so fast in all my life."
"People running in all directions, looks of horror on their faces, screaming, a lot of screaming from women, absolute mayhem. Lots of people sort of crouched down, trying to run but in a crouched position, me included. Trying to protect their heads, worried about flying bullets."
Half-pushed. The other witness says thrown and there is no mention at all of the shots being fired to the head. And note: a google on Mark Whitby revealed one of the same name working for police forensics. Of course this may be no more than a coincidence but there again, maybe not.
Now for the witness account that does not fit, and of course just happens to mention a "rucksack":-
But commuter Teri Godly told Sky News television the man had been carrying a rucksack.
"A tall Asian guy, shaved head, slight beard, with a rucksack got in front of me. Shortly after that, as I was about to get onto the train, eight or nine undercover police with walkie talkies and handguns started screaming at everyone to 'Get out, get out'," she said.
Last updated 25/07/2005