March 29, 2023

Armed police broke into the west London home of a 44-year-old man accused of stabbing to death beloved busker Thomas O’Halloran in a tense 30-minute confrontation, neighbors revealed today – amid mounting anger as a wave of violent crime is sweeping the city. capital city.

The 87-year-old grandfather, a member of the Irish community in Ealing who raised money for war victims in Ukraine outside a Tesco store and train station in South Greenford, was fatally attacked in his scooter in Greenford on Tuesday – in a daylight attack that has left the country behind. shocked.

Scotland Yard said today that a suspect was arrested at a home in nearby Southall – less than two miles from the site of the attack – early this morning and is still in custody.

Shocked residents have told MailOnline how more than six police officers used a battering ram to smash into the front door of the suspect’s semi-detached home on Allenby Road around 1:30 a.m. and called for the man to surrender before emerging and being pushed to the ground and handcuffed. The house is occupied by a Jamaican couple, she added.

A neighbor said: ‘It was 1:30 am and I was woken up by a lot of shouting so that cars would arrive. I looked outside and saw the police trying to break into the door. They used some kind of battering ram.

“Some went in, but there was no one to be seen. That took about 30 minutes. Then they brought out a man. He resisted and they pushed him to the ground and cuffed his hands behind his back. Two officers lifted him off the sidewalk and took him to a car.’

Another said: ‘There was some shouting and when I looked outside there seemed to be a lot of police. Some were in civilian clothes. I immediately thought it must have something to do with the murder in Greenford. I don’t know the person who lives there but we would wave hello. It all came as a shock.’

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This morning a forensic police team arrived at the Southall address, and one of the officers used a flashlight to illuminate the white door frame and doorbell. A police car was parked outside the semi-detached house, with red tape all over the driveway.

It comes as London Mayor Sadiq Khan faced mounting pressure to tackle violent crime following the suspected murder of Mr O’Halloran – the sixth such murder in the past four days in the United States alone. ‘legal’ capital of Great Britain.

Thomas O’Halloran, 87, was stabbed to death on Tuesday while riding his scooter

Foresic agents at an address in Southall this morning after a man was arrested on suspicion of murdering the retiree

This image appears to show the scene of the arrest in Southall early this morning

Mr O’Halloran’s scooter with the colors of the Ukrainian flag, in Greenford on Tuesday

Yesterday a police cordon and tent in Greenford, West London

Renowned busker who was brutally murdered: Thomas O’Halloran, 87, raised money for victims of the war in Ukraine as he walked through his local Tesco and train station

Thomas O’Halloran was known in the Greenford area for busking outside the train station and Tesco, and in recent months had used his musical talent to raise money for Ukraine.

The 87-year-old from Ennistymon in County Clare, Ireland played the accordion from his scooter, which had a Ukrainian flag tied to the basket.

A friend said he went to the Tesco Superstore every day around noon to play his instrument and would stay there until late afternoon.

He would then travel to Greenford Station to deal with the commuter traffic before returning home at about 7pm.

Friends and neighbors praised him as “a very good musician” who “just loved making music and making people happy.”

Mr O’Halloran uploaded a video of himself playing the accordion to YouTube in October 2020.

The video captioned “A few songs on the accordion” features the older man saying, “Here we go, ready? wish me luck’, before he starts playing.

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Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, who is leading the investigation, said: “I would like to thank the public for their overwhelming support following this horrific incident. An arrest has been made following the release of a CCTV image yesterday and the investigation is progressing steadily.

“Mr. O’Halloran’s family is aware of this development and continues to be supported by specially trained officers.”

It comes after officers were called to Cayton Road in Greenford, west London, on Tuesday for reports of a stabbing and Mr O’Halloran was pronounced dead at the scene.

Detectives believe Mr O’Halloran was stabbed in Western Avenue at about 4pm before managing to travel about 75 yards on his scooter to Runnymede Gardens, where he asked a member of the public for help.

Mr O’Halloran was originally from Ennistymon, County Clare, in the west of Ireland. The local community in Clare expressed their ‘deep shock’ after the pensioner’s death. He leaves behind his family including his sister, two brothers, nieces and nephews.

Local Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway said Mr O’Halloran visited Ireland regularly and his death has left his home community in Ennistymon and north Clare in ‘deep shock and grief’.

Mr Conway noted that the passionate musician was “very popular” in Greenford, often fleeing charity.

Footage on social media shows Mr O’Halloran raising money for Ukraine months before the murder.

In the video posted online in June, he can be seen playing his accordion and laughing, with a makeshift blue-and-yellow collection box strapped to his frame.

Harrowing footage released yesterday showed: the beloved busker 20 minutes before he was attacked in broad daylight in an alleyway off the busy A40 Western Avenue. The footage was taken at 3:48 p.m. as he passed a newsagent near the supermarket.

Police were called at 4:06 p.m. 18 minutes later after Mr O’Halloran was ambushed while on his way to Greenford Station, a mile away.

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Former Labor MP Stephen Pound paid tribute to the pensioner, an ex-voter he knew from the busker’s regular public presence in the area.

He told GB News: “Tom was a real local character. He would play the accordion outside Greenford station, the occasional harmonica.

“He was a sweet, kind man… He was loved and loved, but above all, he was one of those characters who would solidify an area.”

Mr O’Halloran had spent many afternoons raising funds for charities in the Greenford, West London area before being stabbed to death

He was driving a mobility scooter in Greenford when he was stabbed to death this week

An aerial view of the scene in Greenford where Mr O’Halloran was stabbed

Metropolitan Police officers, pictured at the scene yesterday, were called at 4 p.m. on Tuesday

It comes as Mr Khan was under mounting pressure to tackle the violent crime last night after Mr O’Halloran was stabbed in broad daylight in a modest suburb.

Tories accused the leftist leader of ‘almost nothing’ after six murders in four days and 59 so far this year.

Former Police Secretary Kit Malthouse called on Mr Khan to consider taking tough measures similar to those taken by Boris Johnson when he was Mayor of London.

Malthouse, now Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, told the LBC radio station that London “has been ravaged by knife crime in the past and seems to be gripping again”.

He added: “I just hope the mayor will take this as seriously as we did all those years ago and lean hard.”

Anyone with footage of the incident is asked to upload it via an online form. Anyone who knows the man in the image, or has details about the murder, is requested to call the emergency room on 020 8358 0300 quoting 4691/16AUG. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or via: click here