British Member of Parliament Jo Cox has died after she was stabbed and shot on a street in northern England, police say. A 52-year-old man has been arrested though his motive was not immediately known.
The incident happened at 12:53 p.m. local time on Thursday when police were called to a street in the village of Birstall in West Yorkshire where Cox, a politician of the Labour Party, had been stabbed and shot. She was pronounced dead at 1:48 p.m.
“Jo was attacked by a man who inflicted serious and sadly, ultimately fatal injuries,” said Dee Collins, the temporary chief constable of West Yorkshire Police. “Subsequently, there was a further attack on a 77-year-old man nearby who has sustained injuries that are non-life-threatening.”
A short time later, a 52-year-old man identified by British media as Tommy Mair was arrested near the scene. A number of weapons, including a firearm, were recovered.
“As this inquiry is in a very early stage, and we have an individual under arrest, we are not in a position to discuss any motive at this time,” Collins said. “We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident at present.”
Mark Burns-Williamson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, provided no further details about a possible motive, but described it as a “localized” incident. “I must stress that investigations are ongoing and we.must let the police do their job in understanding exactly what has happened that’s led to this hugely tragic incident,” he added.
Thursday’s murder comes just a week before Britons will vote on whether to stay or leave the European Union. Cox herself had written an op-ed earlier this month in which she recognized “legitimate concern” about the EU, but stressed they were not a good reason to leave the 28-member bloc.
As a result of the murder, political campaigning for the referendum has been suspended.
“The death of Jo Cox is a tragedy. She was a committed and caring MP,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron, who canceled his plans to attend a rally in Gibraltar. “It’s right that all campaigning has been stopped after the terrible attack on Jo Cox. ”
Labour Party and Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn said “the whole of the Labour family, and indeed the whole country, is in shock and grief” at the murder of Cox. “Jo Cox died doing her public duty at the heart of our democracy, listening to and representing the people she was elected to serve,” he said.
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