London Bridge terrorist ‘looked evil and was smiling’ as he stabbed a waiter to death just yards from where diners were celebrating a friend’s birthday, victims’ inquest told
- French waiter Alexandre Pigeard, 26, was stabbed to death, an inquest heard
- His terrorist killer ‘looked evil’ and was smiling as he looked for other victims
- Eight people died on June 3, 2017, when terrorists in a Transit van plowed into pedestrians on London Bridge then leapt out at Borough Market with knives
Alexandre Pigeard, 26, was killed in the London Bridge attack
A diner who saw an evil-looking London Bridge terrorist stab her waiter to death feared she would die next as the ‘smiling’ killer scoured the scene for his next victim, an inquest heard today.
Andzelika Abokaityte and her boyfriend were celebrating a friend’s birthday at Boro Bistro on the evening of June 3, 2017 when Frenchman Alexandre Pigeard, who had been serving them, was brutally killed.
Mr Pigeard, 26, was one of eight victims of the three terrorists who had taped armed with 12in ceramic knives.
The couple heard the terrorists’ van crash into the railings above them, sending debris down onto the tables in the courtyard below.
‘My friends stood up and they were looking at what happened above us and they said a van crashed into the bridge,’ she told the inquest into the deaths.
One friend was hit on the arm by glass or a brick from above, she said and she was asking him if he was OK when she heard people screaming.
Mr Pigeard was killed just three yards away from diners he was serving in Bore Bistro
‘Shortly after I was looking and I could see a man holding our waiter,’ she said.
The man was three metres away, grasping waiter Alexandre Pigeart from behind.
She said: ‘I could only see his face.
‘He looked evil and he was smiling.
‘He was dark skinned, I think, with dark hair. I think he had a little beard. He was holding the waiter and stabbing him from behind.
‘I think two times and then I looked at my friend and asked him to run.
‘When I looked around and, I don’t know if it was the same person, I saw him slicing the neck.’
The man was ‘looking around as if to find the next person to stab’, she said.
‘I remember thinking I was going to die. The whole thing was horrific’.
The couple retreated inside the restaurant from where a friend jumped through the window, to rescue his wife from under one of the tables and they then escaped through the emergency exit.
The three terrorists strapped fake explosive belts made from water bottles on to their torsos in a bid to strike fear into the hearts of officers attempting to stop them
The terrorists tied 12-inch knives to their wrists with tape before they launched their attack
Pictured: the battered Renault van used by terrorists during the attack on London Bridge in 2017, leaving it with its bumper hanging off
‘There was a man holding his neck with a lot of blood trying to stop it and there was a woman lying down, I’m not sure if she was alive.
‘I think there were her friends standing around. I think she was wearing a multi coloured dress with flowers on it. She wasn’t moving, her eyes were open.’
Mr Pigeart’s colleague, Dimitri Gabriel, heard the crash and went out to investigate with Mr Pigeart leading the way.
‘The last word he said to me is let’s go up and see what happened. Maybe it’s an accident on the bridge,’ Mr Gabriel told the inquest.
They went through a stone arch and up some stairs, where other witnesses suggest Mr Pigeart was stabbed in the neck before retreating.
‘He was just in front of me,’ Mr Gabriel said. ‘He went towards the arch. As soon as I reached that arch he was already going up the stairs.
Khuram Butt walked over to a tap, ran his knife under it to clean off the blood, and wiped it, first on one side of his face, then the other. He was shot dead by police
Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, were also shot dead by police
‘There were loads of people screaming and so I decided to go back. The screams were coming from the top of the stairs. People were coming down.’
He retreated down an alleyway and then returned to the restaurant.
‘I decided to go and check on the customers and when I went back outside I saw him.
He was laying down right in front of the restaurant.
‘My colleagues were saying it’s Alexandre, it’s Alexandre. I said no. One of my colleagues took a blanket to cover him.
‘He was face down but my colleagues together we were in shock as well. We didn’t know what to do.’
The inquest continues into the deaths of Xavier Thomas, 45, Christine Archibald, 30, James McMullan, 32, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, Kirsty Boden, 28, Sebastien Belanger, 36, Sara Zelenak, 21, and Ignacio Echeverria Miralles de Imperial, 39.
Source: Read Full Article