Italian boxers describe 'truly horrible' London attack

LONDON (AP) Italian Olympic boxer Vincenzo Mangiacapre demonstrated Thursday how an unidentified attacker killed a policeman on the grounds of Parliament in front of the shocked members of his boxing team.

The killer, he said, had a knife in each hand and used them like drumsticks plunging into policeman Keith Palmer.

''He gave him around 10 stabs in the back, then he left the policeman and came toward us,'' the 2012 Olympic light welterweight bronze medalist said.

Mangiacapre and other members of the Italia Thunder boxing team were touring the grounds of Parliament when the lethal attack unfolded. They are in London preparing for a World Series boxing match against a British team, Lionhearts.

Speaking from their hotel, the boxers described the ''truly horrible moment'' when the attacker ran down people in his SUV before charging onto the Parliament grounds and stabbing an unarmed policeman.

Boxing coach Maurizio Stecca, who won gold in the bantamweight class at the 1984 Olympics, realized immediately that something was not right.

''We heard a loud crash and there was smoke,'' he said. ''Then we saw this attacker get out of the car with the knives in his hands.''

Stecca and Mangiacapre said a plainclothes policeman, dressed in a suit, pulled out a gun and yelled for the attacker, who was running toward Parliament, to stop.

The man, who has not been identified by police, kept running and was shot several times. He died at the scene.

Stecca said the stabbed policeman tried to reach a place of safety but collapsed because of his stab wounds.

''We heard later that he died from loss of blood right there,'' the boxing coach said.

The Italia Thunder boxing team was hurried into Parliament where special forces carried out a security check amid unconfirmed reports there was a suspicious backpack in the building.

Mangiacapre said he was struggling to deal with what he had seen.

''I was petrified looking into the eyes of this person thinking what a human mind could do,'' he said.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.