Jo Cox, a Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom, died on Thursday after she was shot and stabbed in Birstall, Northern England. Her death comes just days before a referendum on Britain leaving the European Union, which was scheduled for June 23. Campaigning for the referendum, called Brexit, was suspended after her death, said Reuters. A man said to be in his 50s, known locally as Tommy Mair, was arrested for the murder, BBC reported.
The 41-year-old MP was meeting constituents at a library in Birstall and was shot as she was leaving. The attacker shot her at least twice before stabbing her several times. A local 77-year-old man attempted to intervene but was also injured in the attack.
Police are investigating reports that said Mair shouted “Britain first” – possibly referring to a far right party of that name – before shooting Cox, reported The Guardian. Cox was a vocal supporter of Britain remaining in the European Union.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said her death has left the country “in shock and grief”, and that, she “died doing her public duty at the heart of our democracy, listening to and representing the people she was elected to serve”.
Dee Collins, chief constable of West Yorkshire police, told The Guardian, “This is a very significant investigation with a large number of witnesses that are being spoken to by police… There is a large and significant crime scene and there is a large police presence in the area”.
Cox was married with two children. Her husband Brendan Cox, in a statement, said, "She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn't have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous."