LONDON - LONDON (AP) -- Police officers in south London shot and killed a man who wounded at least two people in "terrorism-related" stabbings Sunday, the city's police department said.
The attack in the Streatham neighborhood marked a departure from recent attacks in the British capital that took place by high-profile landmarks in central London.
"The circumstances are being assessed; the incident has been declared as terrorist-related," the Metropolitan Police force tweeted.
Police said they received reports of the stabbings around 2 p.m. Multiple emergency medical vehicles quickly filled the street as helicopters hovered overhead, according to video shared on social media.
Deputy assistant police commissioner Stephen Roberts said police would quickly try to search the suspect's residence and seize any computer devices to scour his internet records. Investigators are researching the man's background to learn more about the attack and any possible co-conspirators, Roberts said.
Roberts said if the facts show the stabbings were carried out by a "self-starter," it meant that any city in the country was vulnerable at any time to a similar sort of low-tech attack.
The attack came just a little over two months after two people were stabbed on London Bridge by a man who had recently been released from prison where he was serving a 16-year sentence for plotting a terror attack.
Authorities on Nov. 4 reduced the national threat level to "substantial," meaning an attack is considered likely. That is the third highest level in a five-step alert system used by British authorities and marks the first time the threat level has been so low since Aug. 2014.
Gulled Bulhan, a 19-year-old student from the neighborhood, told Britain's Press Association that he witnessed the attack.
"I was crossing the road when I saw a man with a machete and silver canisters on his chest being chased by what I assume was an undercover police officer - as they were in civilian clothing," he said. "The man was then shot. I think I heard three gun shots but I can't quite remember.
Bulhan said he ran into a local library to seek safety.
Richard Mustonen-Smith, 59, an Ascension Trust street pastor who is trained to work with police during crisis situations, said he was in shock.
"I've been here all my life," he said. "We're always getting accidents down here, but not this."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised police and emergency workers. London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged community resolve in the face of another attack.
"Terrorists seek to divide us and to destroy our way of life," he said. "Here in London we will never let them succeed."