College lecturer Suzanne Atkins said the 22-year-old looked “out of place” among young girls and families at the Ariana Grande concert. She told a public inquiry that she had gone to collect her daughter and her daughter’s friend, who had been at their first ever gig. After the blast, in May 2017, she searched desperately for the pair on the floor, where victims lay dead or dying. Both girls survived.
In a police statement, read to the inquiry, Suzanne said of Abedi: “He was stooped and had a bit of a swagger about him.
“He looked out of place in amongst a crowd of young girls and families whilst everyone else was looking around and towards the exits. He just seemed to be different and have a purpose. Knowing where he was going.”
Seconds later, Manchester-born Abedi detonated his device, sending thousands of nuts and bolts flying. Earlier the inquiry heard how best friends Millie Tomlinson and Lucy Jarvis – both then 17 – were among the hundreds injured.
Millie, now 21, from Wigan, said: “All of a sudden I felt like this warm gush of air hit me and I felt really warm, like when you jump in a pool.
“I remember going into a ball. I could see loads of people on the ground, the victims.”
Both girls were injured and Lucy had to be stretchered away from the scene by emergency responders.
She said: “They told me not to look down – to just look up so I didn’t see what was on the ground around me, which I’m glad they did.”
The public inquiry, in Manchester, is looking at the events surrounding the bombing. The hearing continues.