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‘I won’t let him kill anyone else’ said man who fought London Bridge terrorist with narwhal tusk

Lizzie Dearden
·5-min read
Civil servant Darryn Frost helped to pin down Usman Khan on London Bridge before the terrorist was shot by police (PA/KNS)
Civil servant Darryn Frost helped to pin down Usman Khan on London Bridge before the terrorist was shot by police (PA/KNS)

A man who fought a knife-wielding terrorist with a narwhal tusk on London Bridge told armed police he would not let the attacker “kill anyone else”, an inquest has heard.

Darryn Frost was a communications manager for the Ministry of Justice when he attended a prison rehabilitation event at Fishmongers’ Hall on 29 November 2019.

Usman Khan, a 28-year-old convicted terrorist, was also among the guests and launched an attack that left two victims dead.

Mr Frost said he heard screaming and ran to investigate, seeing victim Saskia Jones bleeding on the stairs and receiving care.

He told Wednesday’s hearing he decided to “arm himself” and ran towards a room where guests had been served food, hoping to find a knife or weapon.

“I was thinking of using the lid of a bain-marie as a shield and maybe a serving spoon or something,” Mr Frost said. “But as I ran in that direction I saw these really long tusks on the wall.”

He took a narwhal tusk from a bracket and used it to keep Khan at a distance as other attendees fought the terrorist using makeshift weapons including a pike and fire extinguisher.

Watch: New pictures from 2019 London Bridge attack show narwhal tusk-wielding bystander pursuing attacker

John Crilly, a former prisoner whose murder conviction has been quashed, told how he heard Khan shouting “Allahu akbar”, meaning God is great, and saw his knives.

He said he tried to distract him from female Learning Together staff members nearby and asked him: “What the f*** are you doing?”

Khan replied, “I’m going to kill you all”, Mr Crilly said, adding: “He said, ‘I’m going to blow you all up.’ I said, ‘What you’re waiting for then?’ He said, ‘I’m waiting for the police.’”

Mr Frost said Khan also told him he had a bomb, motioning with his two knives towards a suicide vest before telling him: “I’m not here for you, I’m here for the police.”

Mr Crilly said he launched a large wooden lectern at the terrorist but it “bounced off him”. 

He said he then hit Khan with a chair before finding a fire extinguisher and starting to spray him repeatedly.

The inquest heard that attendees forced Khan towards the entrance of Fishmongers’ Hall, where he threatened a member of staff to be let out on to London Bridge.

Mr Frost, Mr Crilly and another former prisoner chased him outside and the inquest was shown images of a chaotic battle where the terrorist was subdued by the three men, alongside members of the public. 

Mr Frost told how he stabbed Khan in the stomach area with the narwhal tusk, causing him to buckle over and be tackled to the ground by Steven Gallant.

“I remember my hands going towards him,” Mr Gallant told the inquest. “Somehow I managed to grab him to the floor. I had done a little bit of wrestling so I knew how to pin people to the floor.” 

Mr Frost then grabbed Khan’s hands in an attempt to stop him stabbing people with his knives, which the terrorist had taped to each hand, or detonating what he believed to be a real bomb.

Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan Police

Meanwhile, Mr Crilly said he struck Khan in the head with the fire extinguisher, and then used it to hit a knife out of one hand.

“Police arrived very quickly,” he added. “I was telling them to shoot the bastard.”

Mr Frost said he had been on top of Khan for around a minute when he saw armed police coming towards them.

“They were shouting to move away,” he added. “The others did as the police asked and I was left holding Khan’s hands in my own.”

“In my mind, the police arrival was the trigger to blow everyone up and I couldn’t let go.

“I shouted something to the effect of: ‘I’ve got his hands he can’t kill anyone else, I won’t let him kill anyone else’.”

Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan Police

The inquest heard that armed police officers repeatedly shouted at Mr Frost to move away from Khan but he initially refused.

“I didn’t want Khan to set off the device but also I didn’t want him to be shot because his statement that he was waiting for the police made me think he wanted to die,” he said.

“I had seen the chaos in the hall and I didn’t want him to have the satisfaction of having his choice when he had taken away others’.”

Mr Frost said that as police started trying to pull him off of Khan, the terrorist “looked up to the officer and very gently said ‘I’ve got a bomb’.”

The hearing was told that Mr Frost was dragged away as police shouted to members of the public to get back, seconds before shooting Khan with a Taser and a gun.

Mr Frost said he was looking away as he heard bangs and he was convinced the sound was Khan detonating his device, adding: “I thought then that everyone was dead in the near vicinity.”

He recalled looking back to see that Khan was on the ground after being shot, and said his memory then “blanked” as he returned to Fishmongers’ Hall.

The coroner, Mark Lucraft QC, praised Mr Frost’s “amazing bravery”, adding: “Thank you for everything you did.” The inquests continue.

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