A woman has been killed with knife wounds and a man left dead after being run over by a car in Maida Vale.
The horror incident was reported to police just after 9am. Officers arrived to Chippenham Rd to find the woman, 43, having suffered stab injuries and a 41-year-old man struck by a vehicle.
Both were pronounced dead at the scene and next of kin have been informed.
An urgent investigation has been launched. Police announced shortly after 5pm on Monday that a 26-year-old man who was driving the car has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “This was a terrible incident that occurred in broad daylight on a busy London street. It also appears that a number of members of the public bravely tried to intervene to stop the attack.
“A man has been arrested in relation to the case; we are not aware of any links between this man and the two deceased. I can also confirm that we are not currently looking for anyone else in connection to this incident.
“A team of detectives are working to establish the circumstances of the incident and I would ask the public to avoid speculating on what may have happened while these initial enquiries take place.
“A number of people have already come forward, but we are still asking for anyone to make contact with us. Any information could be vital in helping us understand why this dreadful incident happened.”
Neighbours said the woman may have been dropping of her children at the local secondary school when she was attacked.
Raad Jiyad, 52, who lives locally, got blood on his hands trying to save the woman from the knifeman.
He told The Standard: “I saw a man over a woman with a knife, I saw the blade. I heard her screaming in pain.
“I wanted to try and make him come towards me instead to buy her some time. We tried to save her.
“He had this big knife so no one wanted to go near. Then this car came through and ran him over. It was all over so quickly.
“I think the driver was just trying to buy time to distract him.”
Cllr Tim Rocca said: “It’s fair to say the community is in absolute shock at what happened this morning on Chippenham Road. Two people have lost their lives in truly tragic and senseless circumstances.
“The police are keeping local councillors informed and we’ll be looking to them to complete their investigation as to what precisely happened. Our thoughts are with the families at such a terrible time.”
One neighbour said he was woken by screams of dozens of schoolchildren from the local secondary school.
He said: “I heard all these awful screams coming from kids and looked out my window.
“I wasn’t going back to sleep after that.”
Mulugeta Asseratte said he witnessed the incident.
He said: “It is a very terrible incident and for it to happen on a Monday morning. I was coming up from the bakery to Chippenham Road and suddenly heard shouts of ‘stop it, stop it’ and it was a girl being attacked by a gentleman.
“In any case, I’m a father of four daughters, such things do happen, and I tried to look and even say ‘stop it’ and it would not.
“All of a sudden it moved to the street and no sooner than they reached the street than a driver came and hit both of them. We were all shocked and shouting and my heart goes out to the families of this fatal incident.
“This is something one sees in movies, not in real life.”
Earlier, Detective Chief Inspector Neil Smithson said: “This morning an incredibly serious incident has unfolded in the Westminster area which has seen two people pronounced dead.
“Our officers are on scene and are working to establish exactly what has happened.
“As soon as we have more information will keep the public updated but for now we must avoid speculation and allow investigators to do their work.
“What I can say at this time is that the incident is contained and we do not believe there to be any wider threat to the community.
“We have spoken to a number of people already but anyone else who witnessed the incident, or who has information that could help us, is urged to make contact immediately.”
A spokeswoman for London Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 9.02am to reports of an incident on Chippenham Road, W9.
“We sent a number of resources to the scene, including two ambulance crews, two clinical team leaders, an advanced paramedic, two tactical response units, a medic in a car, an incident response officer, and members of our hazardous area response team.
“We also dispatched by road London‘s Air Ambulance.
“Despite our medics’ efforts, two people died at the scene."
Local Labour MP Karen Buck described the incident as “horrific” in a tweet on Monday.
She wrote: “Horrific events this morning in Elgin Avenue, which will be devastating for family and friends of those killed and also for the local community.”
Witnesses are asked to call police on 101, ref 1496/24jan. To remain anonymous please contact Crimestoppers.