British MP Jo Cox Dead After Shooting

Reports: Suspect yelled ‘Britain First’ (UPDATED)

British MP critically wounded

Police at the scene in Birstall / Rex Features via AP

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A member of British Parliament died after being shot and stabbed Thursday, according to police.

Jo Cox, a member of the Labour Party, was first reported to be in critical condition following the shooting. British police said later Thursday that Cox had died, multiple outlets reported.

Sky News first reported that Cox was shot multiple times and stabbed in West Yorkshire. People who witnessed the gun attack have reported that the gunman shouted "Britain First," a popular slogan used by individuals who support Britain’s exit from the European Union, according to Fox News. These reports have not been confirmed.

Cox has opposed Britain’s possible departure from the EU, commonly referred to as "Brexit." A referendum on the issue will be held on June 23. In the wake of the shooting, campaigning for and against Brexit had been stopped.

Police have one suspect in custody.

An eye witness who spoke to Sky News said that he heard two shots and that Cox, 41, was shot from between two cars. He also said that she was kicked while laying on the ground.

"It looked like a gun from, I don’t know, the First World War, or a makeshift, handmade gun. It’s not sort of like the kind of gun you see normally," said Hichem Ben Abdallah. He also said that someone appeared to try to stop the attacker.

The suspect left the scene "very, very coolly, very slowly," the eyewitness recalled.

Eyewitness accounts have described a suspect in a white baseball cap. Clarke Rothwell, another witness, told BBC, "When I looked round there’s a man stood there in his 50s with a white baseball cap on and a jacket with a gun, an old fashioned looking gun in his hand."

"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 said.

"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," he recalled.

West Yorkshire Police issued a statement saying that a woman in her 40s was critically injured in Birstall, the village where the shooting took place.

"At 12.53 today, police were called to a report of an incident on Market Street, Birstall, where a woman in her 40s had suffered serious injuries and is in a critical condition. A man in his late 40s to early 50s nearby also suffered slight injuries," police said. "Armed officers attended and a 52-year-old man was arrested in the area. There are no further details at present. Police presence in the area has been increased as a reassurance to the community."

Cox was meeting with constituents near a library at the time of the incident. She was later airlifted to a hospital to be treated for her injuries.

"Very concerned about reports Jo Cox has been injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jo and her family," British Prime Minister David Cameron wrote on Twitter. "It's right that all campaigning has been stopped after the terrible attack on Jo Cox. I won't go ahead with tonight's rally in Gibraltar."

This post will be updated as further information becomes available.

Morgan Chalfant   Email Morgan | Full Bio | RSS
Morgan Chalfant is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Morgan worked as a staff writer at Red Alert Politics. She also served as the year-long Collegiate Network fellow on the editorial page at USA TODAY from 2013-14. Morgan graduated from Boston College in 2013 with a B.A. in English and Mathematics. Her Twitter handle is @mchalfant16.

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