Shocking moment police arrest man suspected of ‘stabbing 87-year-old to death’

Armed police reportedly smashed down the door of a home in west London early this morning to arrest a man suspected of stabbing a an elderly busker to death.

Thomas O’Halloran, who had been playing his accordion to raise money for Ukraine outside a Tesco superstore in Greenford, was attacked while riding his mobility scooter home on Tuesday afternoon.

Paramedics attended but the 87-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 44-year-old man has been detained in connection with the incident, the Metropolitan Police announced today.

He was arrested at an address in Southall after half a dozen officers used a battering ram to break down the door of his home, according to neighbours.

Footage shared to social media appeared to show police officers in plain clothes at the scene of the arrest.

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, who leads the investigation, said today: “I would like to thank the public for their overwhelming support following this horrific incident.

“As a result of the release of a CCTV image yesterday, an arrest has been made and this investigation is progressing at pace.

Footage shared to social media appeared to show police officers in plain clothes at the scene of the arrest.

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, who leads the investigation, said today: “I would like to thank the public for their overwhelming support following this horrific incident.

“As a result of the release of a CCTV image yesterday, an arrest has been made and this investigation is progressing at pace.

“He was resisting and they pushed him to the floor and handcuffed his hands behind his back.

“Two of the police lifted him off the pavement and took him to a car.”

A local shopkeeper told The Mirror: “I’ve only seen him in recent weeks, he’s been here maybe twice.

“He bought Ferrero Roche chocolates and a card, I think he said for his mother’s birthday or something.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw the picture yesterday. It’s frightening he was in here just.”

Another resident claimed they heard shouting and saw police, some in plain clothes, but did not know the person who lived at the address.

The arrest comes after the Mirror obtained a clip of Thomas riding his scooter just 20 minutes before he was fatally attacked.

Shop worker Ronak Patel recognised Thomas in the footage after seeing him going back and forth on his scooter, on a daily basis.

He said: “He went past here twice every day on his way to and from Tesco to play his accordion.”

Thomas, who posted videos of himself playing the accordion and harmonica, was well-known in the area for busking outside the store and local Tube station.

Members of the community took to social media to share their fond memories of him, describing him as a “lovely” man who “helped everyone he could”.

Police believe he was stabbed in Western Avenue, Greenford, shortly after 4pm, before managing to travel around 75 yards on his mobility scooter to Runnymede Gardens where he flagged down a member of public for help.

Speaking on Wednesday, Western Area commander Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson said Thomas had his life “snatched away” in an act of “unprovoked violence”.

“He was a very well known and much-loved member of our community.

“Detectives have been working tirelessly over the last 20 hours to understand what has happened and to identify who was responsible for this horrific crime.”