The Guardian reported that the now deceased suspect has been identified as Emad al-Swealmeen. Al-Swealmeen formerly adhered to Islam before converting to Christianity after he moved to the UK from the Middle East, according to Malcolm and Elizabeth Hitchcott, a Christian couple who took the young man in.
“He first came to [Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral] in August 2015 and wanted to convert to Christianity. He took an Alpha course, which explains the Christian faith, and completed it in November of that year, Hitchcott told the Daily Mail. “That enabled him to come to an informed decision and he changed from Islam to Christianity and was confirmed as a Christian by at least March 2017, just before he came to live with us. He was destitute at that time and we took him in.”
“We’re just so, so sad. We just loved him, he was a lovely guy,” Elizabeth Hitchcott told the BBC. The couple expressed shock over the events that took place on Sunday.
Al-Swealmeen was not previously on the radar of security services, but the police have reportedly recovered “significant items” after searching his home.