London Bridge attacker Usman Khan attended a workshop on storytelling and creative writing moments before he began his attack.
Fishmongers’ Hall hosted a conference on prisoner rehabilitation run by academics at the University of Cambridge’s criminology institute.
Former prisoner Usman Khan was invited to the ‘Learning Together’ fifth anniversary event on the north side of London Bridge which included other former inmates and prison staff.
Academics and criminal justice campaigners tweeted about the day at the grade II listed building and a photograph was posted online of the rehabilitation group gathering.
The photograph posted online during the Cambridge University prisoner rehabilitation group at Fishmongers’ Hall yesterday
The 28-year-old attacker is understood to have been invited to share his experience of prison and wore black clothing and sand-coloured boots, according to The Times.
Armed police take aim at terrorist Usman Khan on London Bridge
A witness named Coralie said around 100 guests and 50 staff were in attendance.
Khan returned to the hall via the grand staircase after the morning session where he later threatened to blow up the hall, a member of staff said.
The alumni celebration was torn apart when attackers reportedly burst into the hall through the kitchen, according to The Telegraph.
Khan went on his killing spree brandishing two large kitchen knives, leaving a woman seriously injured by the entrance.
A witness described seeing ‘two, three people stabbed’ inside the hall. One has a ‘minor injury’ with the other two ‘proper bleeding’.
Several people were stabbed as they tried to fight the attacker but two were killed.
Coralie said the men broke through the doors ‘very close to 2 o’clock’. She said she only saw one attacker but believes there were three.
A colleague of Coralie, named only as Luckasz, was stabbed ‘trying to fight with the three aggressors’.
Coralie recalled how one woman ran towards her after she was stabbed in the arm as the hall descended into panic.
She said she ‘heard about seven gunshots’ during the evacuation which cam from outside the building.
A friend of Luckasz, Jordan, who works as a chef in the hall, said: ‘A mate in the kitchen tells me the man gunned down gained access and attacked a few workers with a knife.’
He described how Luckasz took on one of the attackers and is in a stable condition after being stabbed in the hand.
Survivors were taken by police to the Salvation Army international headquarters to be interviewed.
A survivor told how his friend has been killed in the attack and said: ‘My friend died in my arms. I just want him back.’
Prison reform activist and poet Bryonn Bain attended the conference and led a conference on criminal justice
He tweeted that he had been evacuated to a survivors centre and added: ‘I’m ok. Be grateful for every day.’
The five minutes of terror that started at Fishmongers’ Hall at 13:58pm on the north side of London Bridge
The Metropolitan Police has named convicted terrorist Usman Khan, pictured, as the man responsible for the London Bridge Terror attack which claimed two lives
Professor Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, said he was ‘devastated’ that an event organised by its Institute of Criminology was targeted in the attack.
He said: ‘I am devastated to learn that yesterday’s hateful attack on London Bridge may have been targeted at staff, students and alumni attending an event organised by the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology.
‘We are in touch with the Metropolitan Police, and awaiting further details of the victims.
‘We mourn the dead and we hope for a speedy recovery for the injured. Our thoughts are with all their families and friends.’
It is not yet known if the victims were also attending the event.
Learning Together was set up in 2014 by University of Cambridge academics Ruth Armstrong and Amy Ludlow from the Faculty of Law and Institute of Criminology.
Flowers left at London Bridge this morning following yesterday’s horrific attack which left two people dead and several injured
A University of Cambridge spokesman said: ‘We are gravely concerned at reports that University of Cambridge staff, students and alumni were caught up in the incident at London Bridge.
‘We are urgently seeking clarification and further details. Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by these terrible events.’
Coracle Inside, a secure digital channel for education providers to access the prison estate, tweeted: ‘Thinking of Learning Together at Fishmongers Hall today and hoping everyone is safe.