Palmira Silva was an Italian woman who had lived in her home in London for more than 25 years. She still went to work every day in a local café, and by the accounts of her neighbors “was such a sweet lady.” But Silva will now be known to most as the old woman beheaded by a crazed attacker in her garden.
The beheaded old woman was found by police in Edmonton, north London, around 1 p.m. Thursday, reported The Guardian. London police received terrified calls from residents who said that a man was running around the neighborhood screaming and armed, chasing after those who lived in the area. When aid arrived, officers broke windows to evacuate Londoners quickly and attempted to distract the wild 25-year-old man as he ran feral down the block. Local resident George Stutianou described the scene to The Guardian.
“I saw some police smashing the doors and the windows of three houses either side to get women and children out. We were in the road and two policemen were running as fast as they could towards us, shouting at us to run and get out off the street. We just didn’t know what was going on.”
While the phrase “old woman beheaded” is especially troublesome in the wake of two videos showing journalists being beheaded by Islamic extremist group ISIS, police at this point do not believe that the attack can be classified as terrorist activity, according to Detective Chief Inspector John Sandlin.
“This was a highly visible attack in broad daylight on a residential street. I can understand why this may cause people concern. However, we are confident that we are not looking for anyone else at this stage. While it is too early to speculate on what the motive behind this attack was, I am confident, based on the information currently available to me, that it is not terrorist-related.”
The suspect is currently in the hospital being treated for injuries that he received after being tasered and arrested by police attempting to get him under control, according to BBC News. A description of the perpetrator has not yet been released, as the crime is still under investigation and a tale as graphic and bloody as one that ends in an old woman’s beheading is a delicate matter.
The following report from Sky News shows aerial views of the scene of the old woman’s beheading.
[Image via Palmira Silva’s Family]