Female Lawmaker Dies After She's Shot and Stabbed in 'Horrific' Attack While Meeting Constituents
Jo Cox, a rising star in Britain's Labor Party, was killed on a public street Thursday by a man who shot her three times and stabbed her with a 12-inch knife, police said.
Cox, 41, was attacked after a meeting with constituents by a 52-year-old man who shouted "Britain First" — a possible reference to a far-right political party of the same name — outside a library in West Yorkshire, according to local reports.
The suspect was identified as local resident Thomas Mair, who was described by neighbors as a quiet loner.
She was pronounced dead by a doctor and paramedics at 1:48 p.m. local time. First responders found the mother of two lying on the pavement, bleeding.
"Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it everyday of her life with an energy and a zest for life that would exhaust most people," her husband, Brendan, said after her death. "She would have wanted two things above all else the happen now — one, that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn't have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous."
He posted this photo of his wife on Twitter Thursday, showing her next to the converted barge the family lives in on the Thames:
Witness Clarke Rothwell told the BBC: "He shot this lady once and then he shot her again, he fell to the floor, leant over shot her once more in the face area."
Rothwell added: "Somebody tried to grab him, wrestling with him and then he wielded a knife, like a hunting knife, just started lunging at her with a knife half a dozen times. People were screaming and running from the area".
Tributes immediately poured in from politicians throughout Britain.
"The death of Jo Cox is a tragedy," said Prime Minister David Cameron. "She was a committed and caring MP. My thoughts are with her husband Brendan and her two young children."
Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn said the country is "in shock at the horrific murder" of a "much-loved colleague."
Campaigns on both sides of next week's European Union referendum suspended their activities for the day in honor of Cox. At issue is a vote on whether Britain should remain in the 28-nation bloc.
Cox was at the forefront of efforts to accept more children from war-torn Syria. Before she was elected to Parliament in 2015, she was head of policy at the Oxfam charity and also worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
She was the first person in her family to go to college and she graduated from Cambridge in 1995.