A British member of Parliament died on Thursday after she was shot and stabbed in a horrific assault in her constituency, police have said. Jo Cox, Labour MP for Batley and Spen, north England, was left bleeding on the ground after the attack in Birstall, West Yorkshire. A man was arrested nearby. One eyewitness was reported stating that her attacker shout put Britain first at least twice beforehand.
Tributes flooded in from politicians including David Cameron, Jeremy Corbyn and US Secretary of State John Kerry. Mrs Cox's husband Brendan said she would want people to unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.
West Yorkshire regional police said the 52-year-old man was arrested by officers nearby and weapons including a firearm recovered. We are not in a position to discuss any motive at this time, said Temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins.
One witness said a man pulled an old or makeshift gun from a bag and fired twice. I saw a lady on the floor like on the beach with her arms straight and her knees up and blood all over the face, Hichem Ben-Abdallah told reporters. She wasn't making any noise, but clearly she was in agony.
The lawmaker's husband Brendan said: She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now: one, that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.
The rival referendum campaign groups said they were suspending activities for the day, with the Remain camp saying its activities would also be suspended on Friday. Prime Minister David Cameron said he would pull out of a planned rally in Gibraltar, the British territory on the southern coast of Spain.
Cameron said the killing of the mother-of-two, who had worked on U.S. President Barack Obama's 2008 election campaign, was a tragedy.
We have lost a great star, the Conservative prime minister said. She was a great campaigning MP with huge compassion, with a big heart. It is dreadful, dreadful news.
It was not immediately clear what the impact would be on the June 23 referendum, which has polarized the nation into pro- and anti-EU camps. But some analysts speculated it could boost the pro-EU Remain campaign, which in recent days has fallen behind the Leave camp in opinion polls.
Britain's sterling currency rose against the dollar after news of the attack, adding around two cents.
Gun ownership is highly restricted in Britain, and attacks of any nature on public figures are rare. The last British lawmaker to have been killed in an attack was Ian Gow, who died after a bomb planted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded under his car at his home in southern England in 1990.
Britain's Union Jack flag was flying at half-mast over the Houses of Parliament in London, while in Birstall hundreds of people attended a vigil at a local church.
Colleagues expressed their shock and disbelief at the death of Cox, a Cambridge University graduate who had spent a decade working for aid agency Oxfam in roles including head of humanitarian campaigning and was known for her work on women's issues.
She won election to parliament for northern England's Batley and Spen district at the 2015 general election, and lived with her husband and children on a traditional Dutch barge moored on the Thames near the Tower of London.
We've lost a wonderful woman, we've lost a wonderful member of parliament, but our democracy will go on, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in a televised statement. As we mourn her memory, we'll work in her memory to achieve that better world she spent her life trying to achieve.
Labour lawmaker Sarah Champion said: She's a tiny woman, five feet nothing and a lion as well - she fights so hard for the things she believes in. I cannot believe anyone would do this to her.