London police stand down after Oxford Circus incident
LONDON — London police have found no “trace of any suspects” or “evidence of shots fired” after responding to a reported incident on Oxford Street, in the heart of the city’s shopping district.
Metropolitan Police said officers responded to the incident as if it was terrorism given the nature of the information received.
Police had received multiple reports of shots fired at 4:38 p.m. (11:38 a.m. ET) on Oxford Street and at the Oxford Circus underground train station. They gave no details on what happened, but crowds were seen running down Oxford Street, a shopping strip usually busy with pedestrians and heavy traffic.
The incident happened as throngs of shoppers flocked to the area for Black Friday retail sales.
Oxford Circus station was evacuated, while thousands of people were cordoned away from the area as a large police presence descended on the scene. Many people took shelter in nearby buildings.
British Transport Police said they had a report of one woman with minor injuries received while leaving Oxford Circus station. They reported no other casualties, and say their response to the incident has now been “stood down”.
The cause of the initial reports was not clear late Friday, but the fast and organized police response was a reminder that London is a city on high alert, following a string of terror attacks this year.