Eye witnesses tell of their shock after Tory MP stabbed to death at constituency surgery

15 October 2021, 14:18 | Updated: 15 October 2021, 23:57

MP for Southend West, David Amess, was stabbed multiple times at a surgery at a church in Essex
MP for Southend West, David Amess, was stabbed multiple times at a surgery at a church in Essex. Picture: LBC

By Elizabeth Haigh

Witnesses have told of their shock at the 'very distressing' stabbing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess in Essex.

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Sir David was stabbed multiple times during a surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church on Eastwood Road North, in Southend-on-Sea.

He later died at the scene.

Eye-witness Anthony was working in the building next-door to the church. He told LBC: "The scene was completely and utterly swamped by police, ambulance, armed police.

"I saw someone get taken out the building, put into the back of a police car."

He told LBC he spoke to witnesses in the Church: "Apparently he was stabbed quite a few times.

He added: "It’s nothing that you think would happen round this area.

"To have it next door to where you’re working is obviously very upsetting.

"It’s very hard, it’s very distressing that’s for sure."

He added that other witnesses at the scene appeared "distressed".

Read more: Tragic MPs attacked on the job while in office as concerns raised about security

Another constituent told LBC: "I feel sick and upset. He was a wonderful MP."

They added: "My 16-year-old daughter could see the helicopter and just got home from school, very upset."

Essex Police have confirmed one person has been arrested on suspicion of murder and they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

Read more: MPs and politicians share tributes for Sir David Amess after stabbing death

Reports of the stabbing first appeared on social media.

Read more: Tory MP Sir David Amess stabbed to death as suspect arrested on suspicion of murder

One person posted online: "David Amess Southend MP stabbed in Belfairs Methodist church Eastwood road literally as I was outside the building."

Witnesses have described seeing multiple police, ambulance, air ambulance and armed police crews.

An employee from Jean's Laundry, located near the scene, described seeing emergency service vehicles rushing to the scene.

"We just saw all the police and the ambulances turning up, it was probably about half past 12 or just before then," she said.

"I saw about two or three ambulances and then an undercover police car and other police cars going past.

"There's usually people walking past, elderly people walking to the shops. We've still got no idea what's going on, we're not very busy on a Friday and no one has come in to talk to us about it."

A local shop worker said he saw the aftermath of the incident at Belfairs Methodist Church, where Sir David Amess was attacked.

Lee Jordison walked around to the church from Hicks butchers where he works after seeing emergency services, including armed police and an air ambulance, rushing to the scene.

"We could see a police cordon set up... (someone outside) told me a woman had come out screaming on the phone, saying 'someone's been stabbed, please get here soon, he's not breathing'," the 40-year-old said.

"There was a lot of talk at the church that it was (Sir David) and plenty of people had seen him outside saying hello to people outside the church 20 minutes before.

"It's very shocking... I've worked up here and lived up here all my life and never seen anything like this - it's terrible news."