Everyone remembers where they were the day that news broke of Jo Cox’s shooting, a devastating time that shook the nation.
The Huffington Post reports her heroic last words, that she uttered to her colleagues, in a desperate and selfless act to protect them.
It was revealed in court earlier this week that Jo ordered her team to stay back, so she could take the brunt of the vicious onslaught, saying: “Get away you two. Let him hurt me.”
The much loved but ill-fated Labour MP, who was just 41, was stabbed and shot in Birstall, near Leeds, a week before the EU referendum in June this year.
Jo’s personal assistant, Fazila Azwat, tried to get Jo to flee from her shooter, but she could not, replying: “Fazila, I can’t run, I’m hurt.”
Sandra Major, a member of Jo’s staff, who was also there at the time, described in court what she saw:
He had a gun in his hand. He raised his arm and shot her in the head. It was in the area of her temple.
She fell backwards into the ground and there was blood pouring down her face.
He was making motions towards us with the knife and Jo was lying in the road and she shouted out: “Get away, get away you two. Let him hurt me. Don’t let him hurt you.”
He shot her twice more and then started stabbing her again. She was on the floor. She didn’t get up again.
She reported that her PA yelled to the man: “Get away from us, she has two little kids,” as they both yelled for someone to come and help Jo.
She described how she tried to get the attacker away with her handbag and said:
There was a gun, there was a knife and she was on the floor. I can remember the movement, it was really fast so I can’t say which part of the body was targeted.
Chillingly, she reported the words of Jo’s killer: “Britain first, this is for Britain, Britain will always be first.”
The man accused of her death, named as 53-year-old Thomas Mair, has been arrested for starting a politically charged attack on the Labour MP and mother-of-two.
Witness, Bernard Carter-Kenny, ran to try and help Jo as he saw her attacker ‘go berserk’ with a knife.
I immediately recognised her as Jo Cox, our local MP. The next thing I heard was a bang. I thought it sounded like a gun and I thought it can’t be a gun. I thought it must be a car backfiring.
I ran across. I was intending to jump on his shoulders. He had his back to me. I thought if I could jump on to the back I could take him down.
I thought he was thumping her until I saw the blood. I saw he had a knife in his hands. It was what I call a dagger. The blade was about nine inches.
Mr Carter-Kenny described how Mair then turned on him, stabbing him in the stomach.
Just as I got short of him he turned around and saw me. He shoved the knife in and it hit me in the stomach. The blood started pouring out between my fingers. I saw the blood and I thought ‘Oh my God’.
Mair denies Jo’s murder, firearm possession with intent to commit an indictable offence and grievous bodily harm with intent against Mr Carter-Kenny.