British Labour lawmaker murdered
A British lawmaker was shot to death yesterday in a small town she represents, a tragedy that brought to a standstill the fierce campaign over whether Britain should leave the European Union.
Labour legislator Jo Cox was attacked in Birstall, northern England, Acting Chief Constable Dee Collins of West Yorkshire Police said. She was pronounced dead by a doctor less than an hour later.
A 77-year-old man was also injured in the attack.
A 52-year-old man has been arrested and Collins said police believe it is a "lone incident" and are not looking for anyone else in connection with the attack.
Police would not speculate on a motive for the shooting. Collins said officers had "recovered some weapons".
Violence against politicians is rare in Britain, as are gun attacks, and figures from all parts of the political spectrum have expressed deep shock.
Prime Minister David Cameron said "this is absolutely tragic and dreadful news".
"We have lost a great star," he said. "She was a great campaigning MP with huge compassion and a big heart."
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said "the whole of the Labour Party and Labour family and indeed the whole country will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox today".
No serving UK member of Parliament has been killed since 1990, when the Irish Republican Army killed Conservative lawmaker Ian Gow with a booby-trap bomb placed under his car outside his English home. A former lawmaker, Donald Kaberry, was injured in an IRA bombing in 1990 and died the next year.
British security officials said the shooting was under investigation, but it did not appear it was related to international terrorism. Domestic terrorism, however, has not been ruled out.
Both the Vote Leave and Britain Stronger in Europe campaigns suspended activity ahead of next week's vote over whether Britain should remain a part of the 28-member bloc.
The rival sides in the referendum have been canvassing feverishly ahead of what is expected to be a close vote, and Cox had been campaigning for the 'remain' camp.
It was not clear if the attack on her was linked to the EU debate or whether Cox had been deliberately targeted.