Police officers respond to the London Bridge attack

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The three London Bridge attackers, who killed eight people in 2017, were lawfully killed by police, an inquest has found.

Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, ploughed into pedestrians on the bridge before stabbing people around Borough Market.

They were shot dead by firearms officers less than 10 minutes after the attack began.

Jurors concluded the attackers “ignored clear warning shouts” from the police.

Chief coroner Mark Lucraft QC had directed them that the only “safe” conclusion was that the three men were lawfully killed.

He told the court no-one during the inquest had criticised the officers involved and it was agreed using anything other than “lethal force” would not have been appropriate.

He suggested jurors may all agree that the armed police officers “acted with courage”.

During the inquest, jurors visited the spot in Stoney Street where Butt, Redouane and Zaghba died and heard accounts of their final moments.

An armed officer identified only as BX46 told jurors he shouted words to the effect of “armed police, stand still, drop the knife”.

He said he thought he was in immediate danger as Butt came towards him with a knife.

“I believe his intention was to use the knife and stab me, kill me and get hold of my weapons,” he said.

He said he then became aware of a belt around Butt’s torso, which appeared to be a suicide vest.

“Now he was an even bigger threat, even with (a distance of) one or two metres, a detonation would be fatal to colleagues, members of the public, anyone in the location,” he told the court.

“So I aimed my rifle towards the male and I was moving back quickly and I moved the fire selector lever to fire and I pulled the trigger.”

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