A 44-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of 87-year-old Thomas O’Halloran on a mobility scooter in west London.
He was arrested at an address in Southall, west London, in the early hours of Thursday, the Metropolitan Police said.
Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, who is leading the investigation, said: “I would like to thank the public for their overwhelming support following this horrific incident.
“As a result of the release of a CCTV image yesterday, an arrest has been made and this investigation is progressing at pace.”
It comes after officers were called to Cayton Road in Greenford, west London, on Tuesday to reports of a stabbing and Mr O’Halloran was declared dead at the scene.
Detectives believe Mr O’Halloran was stabbed in Western Avenue at about 4pm before managing to travel around 75 yards on his mobility scooter to Runnymede Gardens, where he flagged down a member of the public for help.
Neighbours described witnessing the moment police arrested a man on suspicion of his murder.
Rahul Patel, 28, saw police break down his neighbour’s door with a battering ram before handcuffing the suspect in the early hours of Thursday.
He said: “I saw the arrest when the police burst in.
“There was loads of riot gear, guns and loads of people, a canine dog, armed police – they were circling the street.”
Piera Cheent, 76, said he heard “screaming and shouting” as a man was led away by police in Southall.
He said: “At about 1.30am I heard a lot of noise.
“I was wondering what it was and looked through the window, and they were actually police officers, they were trying to get the guy out of the house.
“Two officers were holding him with his hands behind his back.
“As soon as he came out of the house he sat on the floor. Eventually they picked him up and took him away, put him in the van.”
Kalsi Nasther, 80, said she is “scared”, adding: “I’ve got a mobility scooter too but I’m not taking it out any more, not alone.”
Mr O’Halloran was originally from Ennistymon, Co Clare, in the west of Ireland.
The local community in Clare expressed their “deep shock” following the pensioner’s death.
Mr O’Halloran is survived by his family, including his sister, two brothers, nieces and nephews.
Local Fine Gael senator Martin Conway said Mr O’Halloran visited Ireland regularly and that his death has left his home community in Ennistymon in “deep shock and sadness”.
Mr Conway noted the passionate musician was “very popular” in Greenford and often busked for charity.
Footage on social media shows Mr O’Halloran busking to raise money for Ukraine months before the killing.
Former Labour MP Stephen Pound paid tribute to Mr O’Halloran, an ex-constituent, telling GB News “Tom was a real local character” and a “sweet, lovely man.”
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