A rising star in Britain’s Parliament was shot and stabbed to death Thursday in an attack that stunned the nation and brought the country’s European Union referendum campaign to an abrupt halt just a week before the vote.
The killing was of the sort that has become all too common in the United States, but is virtually unheard of in Britain: without warning, hyper-violent and ultimately, perhaps, inexplicable.
It claimed as its victim Jo Cox, a widely respected 41-year-old member of the center-left Labour Party who won election last year after a career in humanitarian work and who was widely respected for her outspoken advocacy on behalf of refugees and civilians in Syria.
Police officials in the northern English region of West Yorkshire said Cox was pronounced dead just before 2 p.m. local time, an hour after she was assaulted outside a library near the city of Leeds. A 52-year-old man was taken into custody, and police said he was the only suspect.