The hero taxi driver, who locked a suicide bomber in his car before he blew himself up outside a Liverpool maternity hospital, has been identified. Hero David Perry escaped almost unharmed during the encounter. According to reports, Perry only needed stitches and is already home, hours after police arrested three suspects and evacuated dozens of houses as part of a terror probe in Liverpool.
According to reports, the suicide bomber was trying to reach a Remembrance Day service in Liverpool but after getting stuck in traffic diverted the cab to the Liverpool Woman's Hospital. According to a source quoted by the DailyMail, Perry felt suspicious after having a look at the suicide bomber, who was the passenger in his cab.
The alleged bomber asked Perry to stop at the city's Women's Hospital after changing his changing his mind because of road closures. He had initially requested Perry to go to Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral.
Perry then turned his car and went to the hospital. However, he grew suspicious. "David noticed the man had some kind of light attached to his clothing and was messing around with it. He jumped out and locked the car," the source told the DailyMail.
The taxi immediately exploded but Perry was unhurt. It was Perry presence of mind that saved hundreds of lives. The hero cab driver received some stitches to his ear, treatment for "non-life threatening" cuts and bruises and was discharged at 6:30 pm on Sunday.
Police later confirmed that one man in the car died and another man was seriously injured in the blast at 10.59 am on Sunday, just a minute before the two-minute silence held around the UK to commemorate Britain's fallen war heroes.
According to reports, the original target of the attack was the Anglican Cathedral but the plan was changed at the last minute after the alleged suicide bomber found road closures due to the Remembrance service. At least 2,000 military personnel, veterans and civic dignitaries were present at Remembrance service, which was happening at the city's cathedral less than a mile away.
A Real Hero
Moments after Perry was identified as the taxi driver who thwarted the attack, he was helmed as a hero on social media. "He put his life on the line and nearly paid the ultimate price to save others â apparently not giving anything a second thought besides making sure he went above and beyond to keep the people of our city safe," wrote Billy Darwin.
One person, who identified himself as a friend of Perry, wrote on Facebook: "It's my mate who got blown up. He's in a bad, bad way. He's a fellow driver.. He's had his ear sewn back on, got burns and shrapnel wounds and other pretty serious injuries. He is a hero. When he noticed the bomb, he locked the scumbag in the car. But took the brunt of the blast."
Another colleague wrote online: "The taxi driver is my mate, and he spotted the passenger acting suspicious. He's in hospital, luckily he escaped just before but he did suffer some injuries."
Following the attack, police on late Sunday arrested three men, aged 29, 26 and 21, in Sutcliffe Street, off Boaler Street, in the Kensington area of Liverpool as part of a terror probe into the incident. Detectives and Army bomb disposal experts are investigating whether the blast was triggered by a suicide bomber. The bomber hasn't been identified yet.
Police had earlier said the explosion, reported at the maternity hospital, "has not been declared a terrorist incident at this stage" as they urged the public to remain calm, but vigilant. Witnesses said the car windows blew out and the windscreen was thrown from the car.
However, they are not ruling out a terrorist angle now. A police scene was in place at Rutland Avenue in Sefton Park, with counter-terror officers sighted in the neighborhood.
Police also evacuated residents from homes around Sutcliffe Street and Boaler Street in Kensington and Rutland Avenue in Sefton Park. Locals said armed police ordered residents to leave, saying the area "wasn't safe."
A fundraiser was set up for Perry which praised him for "quick-thinking" which "possibly saved a lot of lives."