A 17-year-old male has been arrested after allegedly throwing a six-year-old boy off a balcony at the Tate Modern gallery in London.
The boy remains in a critically ill condition but has stabilised after being found on a fifth-floor roof of the gallery.
A teenager remains in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder on Sunday (04 July).
It is not yet known the motive behind the incident, with the Met Police saying there is nothing to suggest that the teenager was known to the victim.
Visitors of the gallery have described hearing a “loud bang”, followed by a visibly distressed woman scream: “Where is my son?”
“Of course, the thought of terrorism crosses your mind when there is a sudden panic in a public space,” said gallery visitor, Aidan Thorley.
“But we quickly realised that was not the case when the police came strolling in, rather than running and were unarmed.”
Thorley, from Cheshire, recalls heading downstairs after spending time at the 10th floor viewing gallery but quickly noticed visitors were being prevented from exiting the building.
“There were some disagreements amongst visitors who were beginning to get restless after security informed us an incident had taken place,” he said.
“The majority of visitors gathered around the Turbine Hall with first responders arriving on the scene which brought on slight anxiety amongst the crowds, followed by two air ambulances.
“There was chatter amongst the visitors that a boy had fallen from the gallery.
“This news was met with horror, disbelief and much concern for the welfare of the child,” said Thorley.
The crowds who had been forbidden to leave the building were eventually funnelled out through the side exit of the gift shop after around thirty minutes.
The mental health of the suspect is one line of the inquiry that the Met Police are looking into.
In an earlier statement, police said: “The six-year-old victim was found on a fifth-floor roof. He was treated at the scene and taken to hospital by London’s Air Ambulance.
“The boy’s condition is critical; his family are being supported by police.
“A 17-year-old male had remained with members of the public on the tenth-floor viewing platform.
A spokesperson from The Tate said: “Tate is working closely with the police to help with their investigations.”