The Somali-born man accused of stabbing one woman to death and injuring five others in the Russell Square attack was a ‘quiet, shy pupil who was bullied at his London secondary school’.
Zakaria Bulhan, 19, moved to the UK from Norway in 2002, and was said to be suffering possible ‘mental health issues’ when he allegedly began silently stabbing his unsuspecting victims in a busy London street last night.
His former friends from Graveney School in Tooting, south London, have now revealed how Chelsea supporter Bulhan was a quiet boy who was bullied in the early stages of secondary school.
One friend said: ‘He was quite quiet, but had friends. He was a little bullied but nothing too extreme.’
She said old schoolfriends of Bulhan had seen the news and were shocked to see his name linked to the incident.
It comes after one of his victims an Israeli holidaymaker told how ‘it’s a miracle she’s alive’ after was slashed with a kitchen knife by the crazed attacker when she tried to help him because she thought he was a victim.
Yovel Levkowki, 18, from Tel Aviv, was slashed across the hand by the knifeman as she approached him to offer help after believing he was fleeing a terror attack himself.
She then watched in horror as he butchered an American woman in her 60s, named locally as Darlene Horton the wife of a Florida professor, to death right in front of her eyes.
The killer, a Somali who moved to Tooting, south London, from Norway in 2002, brutally stabbed to death the US citizen and knifed five others including Miss Levkowki, who had been out for dinner with her grandfather.
She said: ‘I don’t know if it’s luck or fate but it’s a miracle.
The woman who was standing next to me died before my eyes.’
The killer was Tasered to the ground by police and pinned down by up to eight officers who were called to Russell Square at 10.30pm last night. He was arrested on suspicion of murder and spent the night in hospital before being moved to a south London police station.
His victim, a US citizen in her 60s whose identity has not been revealed, said ‘he’s still here’ as she used her final words to warn others their lives were also in danger, a witness told MailOnline today.
The witness, who used towels bought on an earlier shopping trip to stem the flow of blood.
‘I was just trying to console her. The victim said something about: ‘He’s still here, he’s still here’ after that she was not lucid. That’s when I saw someone.
He was meandering about. He was very disturbed’.
Describing what happened, victim Yovel Levkowki said: ‘I was afraid it was a terrorist incident, and I was sure that the two men fleeing from the event were victims.
‘I went to help the first one of the men and felt pain in my hand. I thought I just got hit, but it turned out he was stabbing me.
The other man chasing him was trying to stop him, and in the end managed to catch him,’ she told Y Net.
Yovel was on holiday as a final celebration before starting her army service in five days’ time.
She and her grandfather were staying at a well-known hotel in Russell Square, and had just had dinner in a Thai restaurant nearby.
‘I saw a woman lying on the floor, covered in blood,’ she told Israeli media. ‘Her husband was supporting her.
‘Suddenly I discovered that I was bleeding. I looked and saw that the attacker stabbed me in the hand as I was running.
‘A man at the scene tried to calm me down, but he was also covered in blood and wounded by stabbing.
‘Within a few minutes, six police cars and an ambulance sealed off the area and began to help the wounded.
‘They tried to revive the woman covered in blood, but she had lost a lot of blood and within minutes she was dead.’
Yovel added that the dead woman’s husband was sitting in the street, stunned.
‘They even started to resuscitate the man who tried to calm me down,’ she said. ‘Luckily, he survived.’