British Member of Parliament Jo Cox was shot and stabbed by an unknown assailant on Thursday in the town of Birstall, in West Yorkshire. Eyewitnesses said 41-year-old Labour politician was “left lying bleeding on the pavement” after being shot as many as three times. Cox was attacked near the West Yorkshire library where she regularly held town-hall meetings. She was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary, where she is in critical condition and being treated under armed guard.
A 52-year-old man has been arrested, Sky News reports. At around 1 p.m. local time, a shopowner was seen grappling with a man in a baseball cap who pulled a gun that “looked handmade” from a bag, an eyewitness told the network. Witnesses said the assailant shot Cox, and then kicked her while she was on the ground and dragged her by the hair before firing two additional shots, and allegedly shouting “Britain first!” according to numerous reports. He then began to calmly walk away from the scene before being wrestled to the ground and taken into custody. Police said Cox was conscious and talking to EMTs as she was being transported to the hospital.
Campaigning has reportedly been suspended just days ahead of the so-called Brexit vote to decide whether Britain should leave the European Union.
Cox is an Oxford graduate and a former policy director for the charity Oxfam and the mother of two young children. She was elected to parliament in 2015, and has recently been critical of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn himself tweeted that he was “utterly shocked” by the attack. Read more at Sky News.