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Last known sighting of Clapham chemical attack suspect as police reveal 'significant evidence' found in raids
2 February 2024, 15:45 | Updated: 2 February 2024, 17:12
Police have found 'significant evidence' after raiding five addresses in the hunt for the Clapham chemical attack suspect as images of his last known sighting are released.
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The raids were carried out at two addresses in east London and three in Newcastle, where suspect Abdul Shokoor Ezedi, 35, travelled from on the morning of the attack.
Giving an update on the search for Ezedi outside Scotland Yard on Friday, Commander John Saville said he was last seen travelling on the Victoria line tube heading south on Wednesday evening at around 9pm.
Mr Saville said working alongside Northumbria police, they have "recovered some significantly important pieces of evidence which will help with our investigation” following the raids.
The hunt for Ezedi, who allegedly maimed a mother and her two daughters in a chemical attack on the streets of London, entered its third day on Friday.
Mr Saville said the mother, 31, currently remains “very poorly” and has been sedated in hospital with injuries they expect will be "life-changing".
He said the children’s injuries, however, “aren’t as serious as first thought” and are not expected to be life-changing.
Two new images of the suspect were released on Friday showing Ezedi at King's Cross Station, where he was sighted around 9pm.
Mr Saville urged Ezedi to hand himself in, as he said: "We’ve seen the images. You need some medical help, so do the right thing and hand yourself in.”
It is believed one of the raids was carried out on a property in Leytonstone, east London where the suspect’s brother is thought to live.
Dozens of police were sighted at the property at around 2am on Friday and officers evacuated residents from the block of flats, Sky News reports.
They were asked by officers if they had “seen a man with an injured eye” and were warned it’s “not safe to be in there”.
An audio recording obtained from the night of the evacuation hears officers instructing neighbours: “Show me your hands. How many of you are there? Come out slowly, put your hands on your heads and walk toward me. One by one, move to your right and keep going.
"We are police officers and we have a search warrant for this address. We are looking for someone. It's not safe for you to be in there."
After being questioned, residents were allowed to return to their flats.
It is thought the suspect’s brother was among the residents evacuated, although he claimed to have had no recent contact with him.
It emerged on Thursday evening that Ezedi is a former asylum seeker from Afghanistan who was allowed to remain in the UK despite being convicted of a sexual offence.
It is understood that he arrived in the UK by lorry in 2016 and made two unsuccessful attempts to claim asylum.
He appealed his second rejected claim however, which was then overturned in 2020 when a church witness said he believed Ezedi had converted to Christianity, according to reports.
It comes as an eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous, told LBC on Friday that the incident has left her children terrified.
She said: “My kids are a similar age, they were all screaming. They are still so scared. All the time we are thinking about this. My youngest can’t sleep, and they keep asking me if they have caught the bad man.
“I cannot sleep without thinking of this family and what he did to the youngest girl.”
The witness, who lives on the road where the attack took place, continued: “I saw the lady running around, screaming ‘help’.
“The oldest girl was outside of the car banging on the back window. The youngest child was on the back seat of the car.
“He had put her in the car I think. He flung the door open and dragged her out of the car by her legs. He threw her to the ground, it was so horrible.
“She was wearing a backpack. He picked her up again, lifted her by her backpack, and threw her back down to the ground. It’s like he said ‘ok, take it’
“Even with an animal you can’t do that”.
The mother and her two children were among 12 people injured when the "corrosive substance", thought to be an alkaline oven cleaner, was thrown in south London on Wednesday evening.
Police said Ezedi has suffered "significant injuries" to the right side of his face and urged members of the public to get in touch if they see him.
Providing a timeline of the suspect’s last known movements, Mr Saville said he left Newcastle in the very early hours of Wednesday morning.
He travelled down to London and was in the Tooting area by 6:30am.
There was another sighting of the suspect in Croydon at about 4:30pm, and then again at 7pm in Streatham.
The attack took place at 7:25pm in Clapham and at 7:33pm he boarded a train at Clapham South tube.
He was next seen at 8pm at King’s Cross tube station.
At around 8:45 he was captured on CCTV in Tesco in north London displaying significant injuries to the side of his face.
Police have since been able to establish that he was last seen travelling on the Victoria tube line south at around 9pm.
They released an image on Thursday evening, showing the extent of the damage to his face.
The Met's Superintendent Gabriel Cameron said: "We are now releasing an image of the last known sighting of Abdul Shokoor Ezedi, which was on Caledonian Road, N1 at 20:48hrs on Thursday, 31 January.
"The image is taken from the Tesco store, where Ezedi is believed to have purchased a bottle of water. He left the shop and turned right.
"The image shows Ezedi with what appears to be significant injuries to the right side of his face. This makes him distinctive.
"If you see Ezedi, call 999 immediately. He should NOT be approached."
Met police chief Mark Rowley has said that a total of 12 people were hurt in the attack.
This includes a woman and her two daughters, who police believe were known to the suspect.
The injuries may end up being life-changing, police said.