A CHILLING 999 call, in which an eyewitness warned of a gunman on the loose “shooting everybody” as MP Jo Cox lay dying in a West Yorkshire street, was played to a court today.
Darren Playford described the “chaos” at the scene after Mrs Cox, 41, was shot and stabbed outside Birstall library, last June.
Suspect Thomas Mair made a quick getaway from the scene and Mr Playford tried to follow him, it was said.
But Mair, 53, gave him the slip and disappeared behind a pub, before reappearing nearby having apparently changed his clothes, jurors heard.
He just walked away with not a care in the world, he just walked away.Witness David Honeybell
In the emergency call, Mr Playford said: “He is shooting everybody. Outside the library in Birstall.”
Asked how many people were injured, he said: “I don’t know. He stabbed someone as well, he stabbed a lady.
“He is following me at the moment. I am just trying to get away from him.
“He is walking now towards...get the helicopter, he is walking towards Huddersfield Road.
“He has got a black bag in his hand, he has got a white cap on.
“You might need the firearms. He is an elderly bloke, he has got a white baseball cap on.”
He described the suspect walking by a pub.
Mr Playford continued: “He has disappeared behind the Vaults pub.
“If you hurry up, you will get him.
“There is chaos, he has stabbed people.”
The operator said: “Do you know how many people are injured?”
He replied: “I think there’s at least two. There’s an elderly man been shot. A lady has been stabbed.
“I actually followed this guy to try and see where he was going.”
The operator said: “Are you safe and out of danger Darren?”
He said: “I am, yes. He has disappeared out of sight.
“I don’t know where he is.
“He could have gone in the pub but it doesn’t look open to be honest.
“It is chaos.”
Mair then reappeared apparently wearing different clothes.
Mr Playford said: “I can see him again. He has got a black baseball cap. He has got a grey shirt on.
“He is walking up Brownhill Road now. A black baseball cap, he has changed it.
“If you get a police car at the top you will catch him.
“I am still at the end of Brownhill Road.”
At that point, Mr Playford said he had to return to his van as the keys were in the ignition, and the call eventually came to an end.
Earlier, the jury heard Mair had waved his knife and told shocked onlookers they had “better move back” as he killed Mrs Cox.
Her assistant stepped in and hit Mair with her handbag, while 78-year-old Bernard Carter-Kenny desperately tried to intervene but was stabbed too, the Old Bailey heard.
Taxi driver Rashid Hussain pulled up at around the same time as Mrs Cox’s arrival at Birstall library in a silver Vauxhall Astra.
As he was giving his fare her change, he heard what sounded like a “firecracker”, jurors were told.
Mr Hussain said: “I just gave the change back and then because everybody was going towards the library I parked my car there.
“I walked towards the entrance and see the guy stabbing somebody ... behind the car. He was just standing up and he was in the road.”
The witness said he saw the man stab the Batley and Spen MP five or six times.
Mr Hussain said: “When I reached near, he stepped back.
“I said: ‘what are you doing, what’s wrong with you.’
“He said: ‘Move back, otherwise I’m going to stab you’.
“He was standing there with two ladies and another man. He said ‘better move back’.
“He shot twice. He moved back and shot again.”
Mr Hussain told jurors that by this point Mrs Cox, who he had recognised as his MP, was bleeding from her mouth and was being helped by an Asian woman.
He said: “Jo’s head was in her lap and she was pleading for Jo to stand up, talking about her kids.
“Her hands and clothes were covered in blood. She was the only person there helping her.”
David Honeybell, who had gone to see Mrs Cox before her surgery, told jurors that after the attack the man calmly walked away.
He said: “He just walked away with not a care in the world, he just walked away.”
Another eyewitness, Stephen Connolly, said: “It was very cold, he just walked away.”
Mair denies Mrs Cox’s murder, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon - a dagger.
He also pleads not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr Carter-Kenny on the same date.
Clarke Rothwell was in a nearby sandwich shop when Mair allegedly launched his attack.
He told jurors he heard a “popping” noise and a woman scream.
Mrs Cox then slumped to the floor before her attacker shot her in the stomach, he said.
The man shouted words like “this is for Britain” and “put Britain first” before reloading his gun and shooting for a third time, the witness told jurors.
The trial continues.