A horrified witness dialled 999 after MP Jo Cox was brutally attacked and told the operator: “There’s hell on, it’s chaos”, a court has heard.
Darren Playford urged emergency services to hurry after Thomas Mair, 53, allegedly shot and stabbed the 41-year-old Remain campaigner outside her surgery in Birstall on June 16.
Jurors in Mair’s Old Bailey murder trial were yesterday played a recording of the call in which Mr Playford said the attacker had “stabbed and shot people”.
A succession of eyewitnesses have told the Old Bailey trial how mother-of-two Mrs Cox was attacked by a knife-wielding man who warned them they had “better move back” or else be stabbed.
The man shot the Batley and Spen MP twice and then reloaded the gun to shoot her once more before he calmly walked away “with not a care in the world”, the court heard.
In the 999 call, Mr Playford told how the man followed him down Union Street as he fled after witnessing the attack.
He said: “He’s shooting everyone.”
The operator said: “Who’s shooting everyone?”
He replied: “The gunman. Outside the library in Birstall.”
He told how the man had “stabbed a lady”, adding: “He’s following me at the moment. I’m just trying to get away from him. If you sent the helicopter up he’s walking towards Huddersfield Road.”
Mr Playford then kept talking to the operator and kept them informed about the man going behind the Vaults pub and changing his clothes.
He said: “If you hurry up you’ll get him. There’s hell on. It’s chaos, he’s stabbed and shot people.”
Mrs Cox was set upon outside her constituency surgery in Birstall in front of her staff and shocked residents.
Her assistant stepped in and hit the man with her handbag, while 78-year-old Bernard Carter-Kenny desperately tried to intervene but was stabbed too, the trial has heard.
Tracy Bywood saw the killing as she was washing up in a care home kitchen overlooking the scene.
She said the MP “went down on the floor like a sack of potatoes”, adding: “It was so awful to see a woman have such animosity shown towards her.”
Fighting back tears, she told the court: “I known it was a popping noise because I won’t even buy Pringles any more, I can’t handle the noise of the seal breaking.”
David Honeybell, who had gone to see Mrs Cox before her surgery, told jurors: “He just walked away with not a care in the world, he just walked away.”
Mair denies Mrs Cox’s murder, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon - a dagger.
He also pleads not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr Carter-Kenny on the same date.
The trial continues.