A police officer who was critically injured in a mass stabbing in Glasgow is now in a stable condition in hospital, police have said.
PC David Whyte, who is 42, was hurt as he responded to the incident at the city’s Park Inn Hotel on Friday.
He was among six people injured and taken to hospital. The suspect was shot dead by police.
Police said another five casualties remained in hospital, one of them in a critical condition.
They have been described as three asylum seekers who were staying at the Park Inn Hotel at the time of the attack and two hotel staff.
Officers remained at the scene, in the city’s West George Street, on Saturday.
‘They are against me’
Siraj, an asylum seeker who was staying at the hotel, told BBC News the suspect had complained about noise from people in adjoining rooms disturbing him before the attack.
He said attempts had previously been made to engage with the suspect, who was said to be Sudanese, and get him to join in with group conversations.
Siraj, who did not want give his second name, said he spoke to the man the day before the attack, adding: “He said ‘I want to attack them, they are against me, they hate me.”
Groups representing asylum seekers – and the local MP for Glasgow Central, Alison Thewliss – have expressed concerns about the conditions asylum seekers were living in, with claims they were left without adequate support during the coronavirus lockdown.
The Mears Group, which has the Home Office contract to house asylum seekers in Glasgow, said it was necessary to move them from their homes into hotel accommodation due to problems securing lets during the lockdown.
The company said the move was designed to keep them safe from Covid-19.
Police Scotland said PC Whyte was in a stable condition in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.
The other injured men in hospital are aged 18, 20, 38 and 53.
“All of them remain in hospital. One is critical but stable, and two are stable, at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Two others are in stable conditions at the QEUH,” a police statement added.
Nicola Sturgeon wished all those who were injured a “full and speedy recovery”.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson said the incident was not being treated as terrorism and police were continuing to investigate the circumstances.
It comes as the force urged anyone who witnessed the incident or who has footage of the events to send it via the Police Scotland portal.
The investigation has been named Operation Strathenberg.
The incident prompted a large police presence at the city’s George Square on Saturday morning.
A tweet posted by the Greater Glasgow Police account said that an order under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 had been imposed following recent protests.
“This allows police to search any individual or vehicle within the city of Glasgow area until 10:19 tomorrow,” the tweet read.
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Armed police were called to the hotel at 12:50 on Friday after reports of a stabbing – they arrived on the scene within two minutes.
Police said the male suspect died after being shot by specialist officers from the force.
‘Run into danger’
The 91-room hotel is understood to have been housing about 100 asylum seekers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Chief Constable of Police Scotland Iain Livingstone has praised the “outstanding professionalism” of officers who responded to the incident.
He said “terrible incidents” such as those seen in Glasgow on Friday were “thankfully, very rare in Scotland”.
He added: “My thoughts and very best wishes are with those who have been injured and their families, including our colleague Constable David Whyte who was seriously injured in the course of doing his duty. I offer my personal support to all those affected.
“Officers have once again run into danger to protect their fellow citizens. Their professionalism as police officers was outstanding. I pay tribute to their bravery, selflessness and commitment to protecting the public.”