An American tourist who was stabbed in the head, face and back in the London Bridge attack has paid tribute to those who saved him after “flatlining twice”.
Speaking at the inquests into deaths of eight victims, Robin Piersant singled out a Metropolitan Police officer.
He said PC Sam Philpot “never left my side” after the attack on 3 June 2017.
He told the Old Bailey: “The doctors did great things putting me back together but if it wasn’t for that PC I would not have got to the hospital.”
Mr Piersant and his wife Joyce, who was stabbed but also survived, were among the 48 people injured when Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, launched a van and knife attack in 2017.
The first 10 days of the inquests focused on the eight people killed in the first few minutes of the attack.
The hearing has now begun to look into the next phase of the attack – as Redouane, Butt and Zaghba continued stabbing people in bars, restaurants and on streets in the Borough Market area.
Returning to London to give evidence at the inquests, Mr Piersant explained that when he was first approached by an attacker, he initially thought he has been barged into by a drunk – but then he saw a knife.
“As I pushed him back, I’m looking at him. He started looking back towards me. He had an angry look,” he said.
“When he took a step towards me, I took a step back. That’s when I felt something at my left waist and that’s when I blacked out.”
Mr Piersant, from Colorado Springs, was visiting his daughter and her husband in London that summer and had been to dinner that evening with his wife and his son.
He said that after he was stabbed, police officers and three off-duty doctors who had been eating dinner at a nearby restaurant came to his aid.
“I heard two bursts of gunshots and as the gunshots went off, the PC jumped on me,” he said.
The hearing was told that Mr Piersant was taken to hospital in an ambulance, but he did not have a pulse.
“I remember that very vividly, just like you hear on TV. I didn’t have a pulse, I didn’t have breaths. I recall flatlining twice,” he said.
In a witness statement, Mr Piersant said: “I have no evil thoughts or bad feelings. The people who did this are crazy and I don’t know anything about their background.”
He told the hearing: “I’m upset at the state of the politics, but stupid people do stupid things and you have just got to take it in your stride.”
Xavier Thomas, 45, Christine Archibald, 30, Sara Zelenak, 21, Sebastien Belanger, 36, James McMullan, 32, Kirsty Boden, 28, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, and Ignacio Echeverria, 39, were all killed in the attack, which was brought to an end in less than 10 minutes when the attackers were shot.