Ingrid Loyau-Kennett saw the scene in Woolwich — two men standing over the body of the soldier, Lee Rigby — from the bus she was riding, stepped out, and tried to find out what had happened. After finding that Rigby no longer had a pulse, she turned to one of the men, trying to calm him down.
"I asked him why he had done what he had done," she told the Guardian. "He said he had killed the man because [the victim] was a British soldier who killed Muslim women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was furious about the British Army being over there."
The photo of Loyau-Kennett, a scout leader and former teacher, calmly speaking to one of the men alleged to have carried out the attack has become a sensation in Britain, where she has emerged as an unlikely symbol of British fortitude. When the assailants told her that they hoped to spark a war in the streets of London, she told one of them, "Right now it is only you versus many people, you are going to lose — what would you like to do?" "I would like to stay and fight," she quoted the man as telling her. With those words — "you are going to lose" — British Prime Minister David Cameron said she spoke for the British people.
Here’s that photo, with commentary from Loyau-Kennett’s son:
My mum is a motherfucking badass twitter.com/SiibillamLaw/s…
— Basil Baradaran (@SiibillamLaw) May 22, 2013
And here’s Loyau-Kennett, still remarkably unfazed, recounting the experience in a television interview:
Meanwhile, the two suspects who were shot by police on the scene are reported to be in stable condition. One of the men has been identified as Michael Adebolajo and was previously known to British security services. Two additional people have been arrested on conspiracy charges.
Additionally, the full version of the video of one of the suspects — his hands soaked in blood — explaining his actions to a bystander was obtained by the Sun. The clip is below (warning: it’s graphic):