LONDON - A Polish man who used a ceremonial pike to confront an Islamist extremist who had fatally stabbed two people in central London in 2019 was awarded a bravery medal on Tuesday.
Lukasz Koczocik received the Queen's Gallantry Medal from King Charles III's sister Princess Anne at a ceremony at Windsor Castle, west of London.
Three other men -- John Crilly, Darryn Frost and Steven Gallant -- who also restrained attacker Usman Khan will also receive the same honour.
Khan, who had been released early from a prison sentence for terror offences, stabbed two university graduates to death at a prisoner rehabilitation conference on November 29, 2019.
He injured three other people at the Fishmongers' Hall venue before running onto nearby London Bridge, pursued by the four men.
Kitchen porter Koczocik used a ceremonial pike taken from the walls of the building, while Crilly doused Khan with a fire extinguisher.
Frost, a civil servant, jabbed him with a narwhal tusk, also taken from Fishmongers' Hall. Gallant also confronted Khan until armed police arrived.
Khan was shot dead after claiming to be wearing a suicide vest that later turned out to be fake. A coroner's inquest returned a verdict of lawful killing.
Koczocik said after the investiture ceremony: "I just did what I thought was right at that time and place, never a hero.
"I did something which I never expected I could do myself, now I know there's more in me.
He added: "They (the victims) were young people, bright people, I never knew them personally but it still makes me feel bad that there was nothing else I could do to stop it."
The Queen's Gallantry Medal rewards exemplary acts of bravery. The award is among the final list approved by Queen Elizabeth II before her death in September last year.