Clapham chemical attack suspect could die if injuries untreated – last sighting near Vauxhall Bridge

By John Mercury February 8, 2024

Police have said the Clapham chemical attack suspect’s injuries could be “fatal” if they remain untreated – as they revealed he was last seen crossing London’s Vauxhall Bridge at 11pm and then walking next to the River Thames on the night of the incident.

In an update a week on from the attack, officers said the 31-year-old female victim is still sedated in hospital and is “too poorly to speak” due to her “significant injuries”.

Detectives are treating the attack as attempted murder of the woman.

Abdul Ezedi. Pic: Met Police
Image:
Abdul Ezedi. Pic: Met Police

A £20,000 reward is on offer for information leading to the arrest of Abdul Shokoor Ezedi, who police have described as “dangerous”.

Detective Superintendent Rick Sewart, who is leading the manhunt, said his injuries “appear very significant”, and “could be potentially fatal if not treated.”

He has not been to hospital, Mr Stewart said, and hospitals remain on high alert.

Search for Clapham chemical attack suspect Abdul Ezedi expanded
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Clapham chemical attack suspect Abdul Ezedi

Officers said their enquires into CCTV on the night of the attack have reached 11pm on Wednesday 31 January, when he was seen crossing Vauxhall Bridge and walking on to Grosvenor Road.

He has been on the run since the attack, which involved a corrosive alkaline substance – either liquid sodium hydroxide or liquid sodium carbonate – on Lessar Avenue near Clapham Common a week ago.

The injured mother had been in a relationship with her suspected attacker, police have said.

Investigators added the breakdown of the relationship may have been a motive for the harrowing attack.

They said that she had agreed to meet him on the day of the incident, and that she and her children were in a car with Ezedi when the attack took place.

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CCTV of the suspected attacker in a shop

Twelve people were injured, including the mother and her two daughters, aged three and eight. The mother’s injuries are thought to be “life-changing” and she could lose the sight in her right eye.

Ezedi is not the father of her children, who have both left hospital.

Police believe he has received help from others to stay undetected.

A 22-year-old man was arrested on Monday on suspicion of assisting an offender. He was taken into custody and later released on bail as police continue to investigate.

Abdul Ezedi. Pic: Met Police
Image:
Abdul Ezedi. Pic: Met Police


The Metropolitan Police manhunt for Ezedi has been assisted by the British Transport Police and officers with Northumbria Police in Newcastle, where he lived.

Investigators say they are keeping an open mind as to whether Ezedi is dead, possibly after jumping in the river.

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A team of more than 100 officers has been dedicated to the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Met’s 24/7 hotline on 020 7175 2784 – or for an immediate sighting, dial 999.

Police have previously warned Ezedi should not be approached.

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How did Clapham chemical attack unfold?

Police are analysing Ezedi’s mobile phone, which was found in the car involved in the incident to establish the relationship between him and the victim.

But the fact that he no longer has it is making finding him harder.

Ezedi, believed to be from Afghanistan, is understood to have arrived in the UK in 2016.

He was handed a suspended sentence at Newcastle Crown Court in January 2018 after admitting sexual assault and exposure and was placed on the sex offender register and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Despite his conviction, he was allowed to stay in the UK because his crimes were not serious enough to meet the threshold for deportation.

He was granted asylum in the UK, amid suggestions a tribunal judge was swayed by a priest who said he had converted to Christianity and was reportedly “wholly committed” to his new religion.

On Wednesday, Grange Road Baptist Church in Jarrow, confirmed it was “aware of the connection Abdul Shakoor Ezedi has had with our church.”

Darius Nasimi, from the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association, called on anyone in the community who may be helping him to contact police.

Abdul Ezedi's known movements on the day of the attack
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Abdul Ezedi’s known movements on the day of the attack

A map of Abdul Ezedi's last known movements
Image:
A map of Abdul Ezedi’s last known movements

Detectives also issued a timeline of Ezedi’s last known movements following on from their briefing yesterday:

10.04pm – Passes the Unilever building and heads towards Victoria Embankment.
10.06pm – Passes Carmelite House, junction with Carmelite Street towards Temple.
10.28pm – Passes Westminster Pier, goes up steps and continues towards Westminster.
10.33pm – Seen walking south on Westminster Bridge
10.36pm – Walks across Westminster Bridge, down steps on the London Eye side towards Lambeth
10.42pm – Seen walking west on south Thames Path towards Lambeth Bridge
10.55pm – Travels along the Albert Embankment approaching Vauxhall Bridge
11pm – Crosses Vauxhall Bridge towards the stairs on the Houses of Parliament side of the river
11.03pm – Crosses Vauxhall Bridge Road, into Grosvenor Road

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