Eye Witness Account from Glasgow City Centre Incident
Around 12.00 yesterday, six people were injured and one suspect shot dead in a hotel in Glasgow. Those injured are currently in the hospital, including one police officer.
The suspect attacked people inside the Park Inn hotel, in Glasgow City Centre, a usually busy street yet relatively quieter than normal because of the coronavirus lockdown. Police moved to the scene to contain the incident, reassuring the public that there was no further danger.
It is understood that armed police moved into the street and shot the suspect dead, yet no further details are currently available about that person at this stage.
A 42-year-old police officer who was said to be “critical but stable”. The other injured men in hospital are aged 17, 18, 20, 38 and 53.
Multiple news outlets reporting on the incident at West George street earlier today started circulating the news with misleading headlines, suggesting that the attacks were an act of terrorism, without taking into account any official statement made by the police.
Police Scotland has tweeted “The incident is not being treated as a terrorism and our investigation is continuing into the circumstances. There is no wider risk to the public, however the street remains closed and people should avoid the area.”
Scotland’s Justice Minister Humza Yousaf said tonight:
“The incident in Glasgow is not being treated by Police as terrorism. Depressingly yet predictably some are using horrific incident to further their far-right agenda. Glasgow won’t stand for your divisive hatred, so don’t even try it. Let’s keep victims & families in our thoughts”.
One of the asylum seekers living inside the hotel witnessed the incident and wished to speak, without exposing his face on camera:
The human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar commented that: “As details emerge of #ParkInn with a police officer critically injured & 5 others still in hospital – the true picture is of dehumanising & humiliation of vulnerable, frightened asylum seekers housed in hotels during #COVID19 by Mears given a £1 Billion contract in 2019.”
David Hamilton from the Scottish Police Federation said that there are two different investigations that they need to carry out. The first is a police inquiry regarding the circumstances and the events of what happened. The second is a separate police investigation held by the commissioner, in regard to the police officers who were involved in the shooting.
Questions arose as to why the suspect was shot dead by the police officer, instead of using a taser to stop him.
In response to this question, David Hamilton said that there are different levels of equipment. Some officers will have a taser, but not everyone. He continued by saying that one of the most useful weapons is verbal communication. He claimed that they don’t want to resort to any action beyond that, but sometimes they have to. He repeated that the circumstances will be investigated by the depending commissioner.
Robina Qureshi Director of the Refugee and migrant homelessness charity Positive Action in Housing said:
”The Park Inn Hotel at West George Street in Glasgow is one of several hotels used controversially by Mears Group to house asylum seekers moved by Mears from temporary homes into hotels without any money at all.”
“Syrian Refugee Adnan Olbi died last month in Mclays Hotel suspected suicide in one of the hotels alongside park inn. Very desperate people living there including several of our service users. Adnan was one of 370 asylum seekers forcibly moved into hotels with no social distancing and no money, Park Inne Hotel is one of them.”
“Only yesterday, the Mears Group admitted to Scottish MPs that they had FAILED to do vulnerability assessments of asylum seekers who they forcibly moved.”
Campaign groups and organisations supporting asylum seekers in the hotels have repeatedly asked MEARS and the Home Office to respond to these issues, yet they claim that they have been consistently ignored. Following the failure to collaborate in a productive dialogue and in particular after Adnan Olbeh was found dead inside of one of the MEARS hotels, the asylum seekers started refusing any food services from the hotels and organised a protest to demonstrate their demands.
‘A climate of tension’ was the phrase often used today in an attempt to describe what might have led to the incident that happened today.
As we work to verify facts and prepare our news, Bella stands in complete solidarity with asylum seekers and deplores the people using this tragedy to attack vulnerable people and promote racism.