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The barracks near where the attack took place houses a number of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and independent companies of the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards. They were the site of shooting events during the 2012 London Olympics.

Fred Oyat, 44, who lives in a high-rise nearby, said he heard four gun shots and went straight to the window.

“I saw one man lying there bleeding, another lying on the pavement being disarmed. A policeman was pointing a gun at him. A third man was lying further up the street. … He was bleeding profusely,” Oyat said. “There were four knives on the ground — big kitchen knives. The knives were very bloody.”

David Dixon, headmaster at a nearby primary school, said he saw a body lying in the road outside. After making sure all students were inside, he quickly put the school into lockdown. He then heard shots fired, he told the BBC.

Witnesses recounted seeing the suspects — armed with meat cleavers and possibly a firearm — rushing toward police when officers arrived on the scene.

“He ran towards police before they could even get out of the car,” Julia Wilders told Britain’s Press Association.

Graham Wilders said he saw one of the suspects pull out a handgun.

“He didn’t fire the gun,” Wilders told the BBC. “They went for the police with a handgun. The police were the only ones who did any shooting.”

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Associated Press writers Sylvia Hui and Danica Kirka in London contributed to this report.