British lawmaker Jo Cox, who was killed in a shooting and stabbing attack on Thursday, appears to have been the victim of an “isolated but targeted attack,” police say. Links to far-right extremism are being investigated.
Dee Collins, the temporary chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, said Friday that there was no indication that anyone else was involved in the brutal killing, during which a 77-year-old man who tried to intervene was also attacked.
“We are keeping an open mind and I do not wish to add to the speculation as we need to ensure that we conduct a professional investigation and do not compromise the need to bring the person responsible to justice,” Collins said. “Based on information available at this time, this appears to be an isolated, but targeted attack upon Jo.”
Police said the suspect – who has been named by British media as Tommy Mair – had been medically examined and was deemed to be fit for detention and interview, though specific details about a possible motive have not yet been released by authorities.
“We are aware of the speculation within the media in respect of the suspect’s link to mental health services and this is a clear line of enquiry which we are pursuing,” Collins said. “We are also aware of the inference within the media of the suspect being linked to right wing extremism which is again a priority line of enquiry which will help us establish the motive for the attack on Jo.”
Cox, a member of parliament for the Labour Party, was stabbed and shot multiple times after meeting with citizens in the village of Birstall in West Yorkshire. The 77-year-old man who tried to intervene sustained a serious injury to his abdomen but is now in stable condition.
The murder of Cox happened just days before next week’s referendum on whether the United Kingdom should stay or leave the European Union, and Cox – the first British lawmaker to be killed in office in a quarter of a century – had campaigned in favor of staying in the EU.
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