A police officer who was seriously injured in a mass stabbing described the scene as “something I will never forget.”
PC David Whyte, 42, was seriously injured in the incident at the Park Inn Hotel in Glasgow on Friday.
He was among the six people taken to the hospital. The suspect was shot dead by the police.
Police said the other five victims remained in the hospital, one of them in critical condition.
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They have been described as three asylum seekers who were staying at the Park Inn Hotel at the time of the attack and two hotel employees.
Officers remained at the scene, on West George Street in the city, on Saturday.
In a statement from his hospital bed, PC Whyte said: “The incident that I and my colleagues faced on West George Street was extremely challenging.
“The scene we are dealing with is something I will never forget.
“As the first responders on the scene, my colleague and I did what all police officers are capable of saving lives.”
“I would like to thank my colleagues who put themselves in danger to contain this incident and help with the vital treatment that other emergency services provided to me and others on the scene.”
‘They are against me’
The attack occurred at the 91-room hotel, believed to have housed around 100 asylum seekers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Siraj, an asylum seeker staying at the hotel, told BBC News that the suspect had complained about noise from people in adjoining rooms bothering him before the attack.
He said attempts had previously been made to bond with the suspect, who was said to be Sudanese, and to get him to join the group talks.
Siraj, who did not want to give his middle name, said he spoke to the man the day before the attack, adding: “He said ‘I want to attack them, they are against me, they hate me.’
Groups representing asylum seekers, and local Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss, have expressed concern about the conditions asylum seekers lived in, claiming they were left without adequate support during the coronavirus blockade. .
The Mears Group, which has a contract from the Home Office to house asylum seekers in Glasgow, said it was necessary to move them from their homes to hotel accommodation due to problems in securing rent during the shutdown.
The company said the move was designed to keep them safe from Covid-19.
In a statement, the Home Office said: “Throughout this pandemic, we have made it a priority to provide asylum-seekers who would otherwise be indigent with free and safe accommodation that allows them to follow public health guidance.
“They have access to medical care and all their essential needs and living costs are met.”
Scottish police said PC Whyte was in stable condition at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.
The other men injured in the hospital are 18, 20, 38, and 53 years old.
“Everyone remains in the hospital. One is critical but stable, and two are stable, at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Two others are in stable condition at QEUH,” added a police statement.
Nicola Sturgeon wished all the wounded a “complete and speedy recovery.”
Assistant Police Chief Steve Johnson said the incident was not being treated as terrorism and that the police were still investigating the circumstances.
It occurs when the force urged anyone who has witnessed the incident or who has images of the events to send it through the Police Scotland portal.
The investigation has been called Operation Strathenberg.
The incident sparked a large police presence in the city’s George Square on Saturday morning.
A tweet posted by the Greater Glasgow Police account said an order had been imposed under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994 following the recent protests.
“This allows the police to search any person or vehicle within the Glasgow city area until 10:19 am,” the tweet said.
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Armed police were called to the hotel at 12:50 p.m. Friday after reports of a stabbing – they arrived on the scene in two minutes.
Police said the male suspect died after being shot by specialized force officers.
‘Run to danger’
Scottish Police Chief Iain Livingstone praised the “outstanding professionalism” of the officers who responded to the incident.
He said “terrible incidents” such as those seen in Glasgow on Friday were “fortunately, very rare in Scotland.”
He added: “My thoughts and best wishes go to those who have been injured and their families, including our colleague Agent David Whyte, who was seriously injured in the line of duty. I offer my personal support to all concerned.
“Officers have once again risked danger to protect their fellow citizens. Their professionalism as police officers was outstanding. I pay tribute to their bravery, selflessness and commitment to protect the public.”