London Bridge attack inquest: Ignacio Echeverría ‘fought knifemen with skateboard’

Ignacio EcheverríaImage copyright Met Police
Image caption Ignacio Echeverría was stabbed to death as he tried to fend off the attackers with his skateboard

A man ran towards the London Bridge attackers and tried to beat them with his skateboard before he was fatally stabbed, an inquest has heard.

Spaniard Ignacio Echeverría, 39, was one of eight people killed by Rachid Redouane, Youssef Zagbha and Khuram Butt on 3 June 2017.

Guillermo Sanchez-Montisi said his friend ran at the attackers when he saw one of them stab a woman.

His killers looked “prepared and professional”, the Old Bailey heard.

Mr Echeverría, Mr Sanchez-Montisi and another friend were cycling along Borough High Street after a day’s skateboarding on the South Bank when they saw an injured man running away from London Bridge.

The court was shown CCTV footage of the three friends as well as images of PC Wayne Marques and PC Charles Guenigault, running towards the disturbance.

Mr Echeverría, who worked for HSBC as part of a team fighting money laundering, dismounted his bike and also ran towards the commotion, the footage showed.

He could then be seen swinging his skateboard at Rachid Redouane.

Redouane made a stabbing motion towards Mr Echeverría, who fell to the ground. The footage then showed Zagbha and Redouane attacking him.

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Media caption‘My son did what he had to do’

Mr Sanchez-Montisi said in a statement read out to court: “From the way they were attacking people it was clear their intentions were to kill everyone… Everybody was getting stabbed.”

‘Professional’ assailants

Describing his friends actions, he said: “He grabbed his skateboard… and went towards the group… It was like he didn’t even think about it and he was hitting at the group with his skateboard.”

“I saw one of the attackers covering his head as Ignacio was hitting him with his skateboard…and then suddenly Ignacio was on the floor,” he added.

“Suddenly Ignacio was lying back down on the floor and he was holding his skateboard in front and he was trying to protect himself.”

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mr Echeverría’s parents accepted their late son’s George Medal from the Queen in October last year

Mr Echeverría was posthumously awarded the George Medal for his efforts to stop the attackers.

Mr Sanchez-Montisi said the knifemen looked “prepared, professional”.

He also said he had to run away because he felt he might become their next target.

“I would not wish the feeling impotence of not being able to do anything on anyone, even my worst enemy”, he said.

Evidence has been heard in relation to the seven other victims: Xavier Thomas, Chrissy Archibald, Sara Zelenak, James McMullan, Sébastien Bélanger, Alexandre Pigeard and Kirsty Boden.

The inquest continues.

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