London police feared terrorist bomb blast
Armed police officers who shot three men to end a terror attack at London Bridge believed the men were about to detonate explosives, an inquest heard.
A London Metropolitan Police officer, known only as BY28, has told the Old Bailey he feared for his life as he made his way to the scene on June 3, 2017.
BY28 told the inquest that as his vehicle arrived he spotted a man who "looked like he'd been painted in blood".
In the space of 10 minutes, Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, had ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge and run amok around Borough Market with knives and fake suicide belts.
All three were shot dead in Stoney St, bringing to an end a rampage that left eight people dead - including Australians Kirsty Boden and Sara Zelenak - and 48 seriously injured.
BY28 said as the vehicle he was in turned into Stoney St he heard gun shots and "the whooshing sound" of bullets.
He said he believed he saw improvised explosive devices (IEDs) attached to the suspects, describing them as six to eight packages on the chest with wires and cords.
BY28 told the inquest that another officer also noticed what they believed were IEDs and they started to withdraw immediately.
"If they detonated they would have killed everyone there including us and members of the public," BY28 said.
BY28 said he stood next to a vehicle, which provided some protection.
"From an IED I knew I was in the blast radius. It was all we had," he said.
The officer said he fired two shots at one of the suspects, Redouane, because he believed he was attempting to detonate the IEDs.
"He continued to move so I've taken a third shot aimed at his head," BY28 said, adding that Redouane was still trying to tug or get hold of the cord.
Another officer, known only as AY14, told the inquest about the moment he was told Operation Plato - an operation declared when there is a marauding terrorist attack under way - was declared.
"It's one of those words you hear on the radio that you never expect to hear," he said.
"I've trained for it but never actually expect to hear it."
AY14 said he noticed silver packages and a brown belt with wires strapped to the suspects.
He recalled shouting at Butt: "Stay down! Don't move! Stay still!"
The officer said he opened fire after Butt appeared to push himself up.
"I thought he was raising himself up to activate his device," he said.
AY14 said he aimed two shots at Butt's torso, before aiming at his head.
The inquest was adjourned until Tuesday morning.