Witnesses claim attacker yelled “Britain first!” while others didn’t hear him yell anything.
British Member of Parliament (MP) Jo Cox died after a middle aged man shot her on the street in Birstall, located near Leeds.
The police arrested Thomas Mair, 52. Some eyewitnesses said he yelled “Britain first!” when he shot her, but others dispute the claim. Some in Britain have pushed the country to leave the European Union.
Mair attacked Cox after she held her weekly office hours with constituents:
“The gun went off twice and then she fell between two cars and I came and saw her bleeding on the floor,” shop owner Hichem Ben Abdallah told ITV News.
Clarke Rothwell told the BBC that the suspect, who was wearing a baseball hat, lunged at Cox with a knife after he opened fire.
“People were screaming and running from the area,” Rothwell added.
Mair has a history of mental illness. His brother said Mair is not political and cannot tell media how he votes. Cox has spoken out against leaving the EU.
Both campaigns have suspended their activities.
Cox started in parliament in 2015 after she “worked in senior positions for the Labour party, including as an advisor to the wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and to Baroness Kinnock.”
She graduated from Cambridge University and worked as head of policy and humanitarian campaigning for Oxfam. That job put her in war zones, which put wars in Syria and Iraq in her campaign.
British lawmakers on both sides have used social media to express their sadness and condolences to Cox’s family. She leaves behind a husband and two young children.
The death of Jo Cox is a tragedy. She was a committed and caring MP. My thoughts are with her husband Brendan and her two young children.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) June 16, 2016
Deeply saddened to hear that Jo Cox has died. Sincerest condolences to her family.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) June 16, 2016
The whole of the Labour family, and indeed the whole country, is in shock and grief at the horrific murder of Jo Cox pic.twitter.com/obic5pOCS3
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) June 16, 2016
My heart breaks for the loss of Jo Cox and for Brendan and their kids. She was so full of life and joy. Words feel hopeless right now.
— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) June 16, 2016
Sad & shocked to hear of Jo Cox's death. Appalling a MP should lose her life simply doing her best for constituents. Thoughts w/ Jo's family
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) June 16, 2016
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