Police in the UK have launched a murder investigation after a car plowed into a group of pedestrians outside a school in the London suburb of Essex on Monday, killing a 12-year-old boy.
Around 3:20 p.m. a silver Ford Ka — a small hatchback — rammed into people outside Debden Park High School in Loughton, striking four students and an older woman, Chief Essex Police Superintendent Tracey Harman said.
Hours after the incident, police officials announced that they were looking for 51-year-old Terry Glover, who they said lives in the community.
“We believe that the collision was deliberate and we have launched a murder investigation,” Harman said in a statement, adding that they are “investigating whether or not this incident may be connected to another incident nearby.”
In a series of tweets, Inspector for Essex Police Serious Collision Investigation Rob Brettell said the deadly incident was “likely to be a prolonged and serious investigation,” later writing on Twitter: “Where is Terry Glover??? We urgently need to speak to him…”
Others injured in the collision include two 15-year-old boys, one 13-year-old boy, a 16-year-old girl, and a 53-year-old woman. Police believe all of the teenagers are students at Debden High School.
The 12-year-old boy who died at the hospital was not immediately identified.
Witnesses shared what they had heard and seen on Facebook and to media outlets. Samm Gallacher posted on Facebook that a silver Ka with a “smashed screen” ran over her son and others. The boy was OK but had to go to the hospital, she added.
“Just to let everyone no [sic] Beau is safe and is ok. His [sic] having ex rays now but his walking and talking thank god,” she posted a few hours later.
Helen Gascoyne, the head of Debden Park High School, confirmed that the boy who died was a student and that the community is “devastated”.
“Our thoughts are with the family and all those affected. As a school we continue to work with the police supporting the ongoing investigation,” she said. “The school will be open tomorrow with a number of counsellors on hand to support our community.”
On Monday night, residents gathered at St. John’s Church for a special mass to pray and light candles for the victims.
“Now and in the days to come our concern will be entirely for praying for and supporting the children, parents and teachers of the school. If you need a place to be, we are here for you, our community,” a curator for the church tweeted.