June 16, 2016

Jo Cox, a former Oxfam official and elected MP in England, has died after being brutally attacked by a man with a homemade (or antique) gun and a knife.

According to witnesses in the area, her attacker shouted "Britain First!" before repeatedly stabbing and shooting her.

One witness told the BBC what happened as she met with constituents ahead of her Brexit vote next week.

"I looked around and there was a man stood there in his 50s with a white baseball cap on, with a jacket and a gun — an old-fashioned looking gun in his hands. He shot this lady once and then he shot her again and she fell to the floor, leant over, shot her once more in the face area. Someone tried grappling and wrestling with him and then he wielded a knife, like a hunting knife, and just started lunging at her with a knife," he said.

He continued, "People were screaming and running from the area. People tried running towards him and as they ran towards him he was just lunging with the knife at everybody. When the gentlemen with the bald head in his 50s actually got fairly close on him and he lunged forward and stabbed him straight in the stomach. He was trying to reload his gun to shoot people nearby again."

Another witness described it this way:

Her attacker is Tommy Mair, a 52-year old man who was known as a long-time loner who had lived in the neighborhood for years.

Credit: Screenshot

His neighbors describe him uniformly as a "loner," "quiet," and "keeping to himself."

Britain First is a far right-wing group in the UK, which mirrors some of the Islamophobic far-right wing groups here in the United States. The group has denied any association with Mair, and expressed shock at his actions.

Cox voted against airstrikes against Syria, was a fierce advocate for Syrian refugees, and had spent her career working with Oxfam as an aid worker, rising to be their head of global policy.

The global progressive community has lost a warrior today. May she rest in peace, and may these violent, far-right haters rot in hell.

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