Andrew Parsons  /  AP
Police secure the scene Monday after an attacker thought to have used an ax to kill a man was arrested in this affluent part of north London.
updated 3/14/2005 6:38:54 PM ET 2005-03-14T23:38:54

An attacker used an ax to kill a man in a busy street in an affluent part of London on Monday morning, as horrified onlookers screamed at the suspected assailant to put the long-handled weapon down.

“A man who lives in my building was telling him to put the ax down, then two men grabbed scaffolding poles to try to stop him hurting anyone else,” said Margaret Mikkelsen. “But he didn’t respond to all the people shouting at him.”

The Metropolitan Police received calls Monday morning that a serious assault was under way north of fashionable Regent’s Park. Arriving, they found the body of a 61-year-old man and arrested a 37-year-old man, police said. Police said the suspect did not resist.

Police put the attacker face down and handcuffed him, and recovered an ax with a 2-foot handle.

“He had blood on his hands. He dropped the ax,” said Nick Blackford, 20, a student in the area who said he was awoken by screaming. “It is horrific. You never want to see that situation.”

Police said the dead man had severe head injuries.

Detectives believe the attack was not random and are investigating whether the two men knew each other.

An Associated Press Television News reporter who passed by shortly after the attack saw a man standing by the body as shocked witnesses gathered nearby.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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