69-year-old Sir David Amess, a Member of the British Parliament from the Conservative Party, has been stabbed and killed before the eyes of many of his constituents while having meetings with them in a church in Southend, Essex County, England.

The popular Tory politician was having a so-called constituency surgery, i.e. a series of one-on-one meetings with voters when a young attacker ran inside the church and stabbed him to death before the horrified onlookers.

Assassination in a church

The Conservative MP for Southend West was having a get-together with his constituents in Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea, at the Belfairs Methodist Church, when he was brutally assaulted at 12.05 pm local time on Friday.

Paramedics tried for more than an hour to save the Tory politician, who won his last reelection by 14,000 votes, but his multiple stabbing wounds were too serious, The Daily Mail reported.

The only information about the perpetrator of the killing is that a 25-year-old Somali suspect has been detained.

The report says the assassination of Sir David Amess is reminiscent of the 2016 killing of Jo Cox, a British Member of Parliament from the Labor Party, who was stabbed and shot outside a library in Birstall, West Yorkshire.

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has reacted to the news about the gruesome murder by stating that it has caused “shock” and “sadness”.

Sir David is a father of five; it is unknown if his wife Julia was at the scene when he was killed.

Amess is the seventh Member of the British Parliament to be killed in the history of UK, and the ninth to be attacked.

Conservative Sir David was a staunch royalist, an ardent supporter of Brexit, Britain’s exit from the European Union, and an opponent to both abortion and gay marriage.

‘Disconnect’ with voters feared after the murder

Last year, Sir David had written with sorrow about the assassination of his Labor Party colleague Jo Cox in 2016 but he also defended the importance of one-on-one meetings with constituents in spite of what had happened to her.

The popular Conservative Party politician has received threats at his home before and has had to have additional security for his property.

The report cites a source from the British Parliament as saying that in the wake of the murder, the British police is going to have police officers present at the MPs’ constituent surgeries as the only solution to provide safety for them.

Another source is quoted as saying that Members of Parliament are already canceling their constituent surgeries because of Sir David’s assassination, and the police security was essential in order to prevent that, and, respectively, “a disconnect” between the legislators and their voters.