Residents living near a flat in Stafford believed to have been occupied by London Bridge attacker Usman Khan spoke of their shock as a police search continued at the property – and told how he was seen walking alone in the area.
Retired police officer Justin Lightfoot, who lives in a nearby street, said he instantly recognised Khan when a friend showed him a mugshot of the 28-year-old in a media report on Saturday morning.
Mr Lightfoot, who runs a gardening business, said he had never seen Khan, who was wearing Western clothing, carrying anything or walking with anyone else.
The local resident told the PA news agency: “The only thing I’ve seen is him just walking past my house.
“I’ve seen his picture this morning online and when I saw that obviously I recognised him. A friend showed me the picture and as soon as I saw it, I recognised him straight away.
“It’s just frightening when somebody lives so close to you – you don’t know what’s going on so near to your home.”
Mr Lightfoot added: “I’ve seen him for probably the last three or four weeks. Whether he was there longer or not I don’t know.
“When I came home from work last night I saw the police here between half four and five o’clock. There was a couple of police cars, a police car across the road.
“I had this feeling it might be something to do with that (the London Bridge attack) and then when I heard it on the radio last night and it said Staffordshire and then Stafford… it’s just frightening.”
Other residents said they had seen police speaking to other residents of the three-story block of flats on Wolverhampton Road after officers sealed off the building.
Another resident, whose house overlooks the flats, said: “I’ve certainly seen police there before, but what for I’m not sure.
“I haven’t seen the man who lived there for at least a week or so.”