Birmingham stabbings: One dead and seven injured as police launch manhunt

6 September 2020, 14:37

A murder investigation has been launched, police confirmed
A murder investigation has been launched, police confirmed. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

A murder investigation has been launched after one man was killed and seven people injured following multiple stabbings in four locations in Birmingham city centre.

West Midland police confirmed a man has died and another man and a woman have suffered serious injuries. Five others were also injured in the events last night.

Chief Superintendent Steve Graham, of West Midlands Police, said police are looking for one suspect in relation to stabbings.

He also said police believe the series of stabbings overnight are linked.

Chief Superintendent Graham told reporters that officers were called to reports of a stabbing in Constitution Hill, north of the city centre, and the suspect worked north-to-south.

He said: "We are still in the early stages of that inquiry but I can say that we are treating all four of those incidents as a linked series.

"We are searching for one suspect and inquiries to identify and then trace that suspect are ongoing."

Two people who were critically injured are still being worked upon as a result of the injuries they received as part of that attack.

He added there was "absolutely no suggestion" that guns were involved in the incident.

There is an increased police presence in Birmingham city centre
There is an increased police presence in Birmingham city centre. Picture: PA

At a press conference, Chief Superintendent Graham said: "Given the fact that we are in the early stages, we cannot go into the details of the people who have been injured or lost their life in this.

"We are looking for one suspect, and inquiries to find this suspect are ongoing. We believe the four scenes where incidents too place are linked."

Chief Superintendent Steve Graham said there was "absolutely no suggestion at all" the series of stabbings was related to terrorism.

Mr Graham added the stabbings appeared to be a random attack and there was no evidence the incident was motivated by hate towards any particular group nor gang-related.

"Clearly those of you who know Birmingham city centre know that Hurst Street is part of the gay community's night-time economy but there's absolutely no suggestion at this point that this was in any way, shape or form motivated by hate."

Asked whether the incident was gang related, he said: "At this stage we can't find a particular motive but it does appear to be random in terms of the selection of the people who were attacked."

He also said there was no evidence to show it was related to "people squabbling over tables" in the city centre.

When asked is people should feel safe, Chief Superintendent Graham said: "We understand that people will be nervous as we have not found this suspect yet. People do not need to be afraid, but be alert. We are not saying Birmingham city centre is not a safe place to be."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked emergency services who responded to the scene of a stabbing in Birmingham where one man died and a further seven people were injured.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Johnson said: "All my thoughts are with those affected by the terrible incident in Birmingham last night.

"My thanks to the emergency services who are working hard at the scene."

Home Secretary Priti Patel said "all her thoughts" were with people affected by a stabbing in Birmingham in which one man died and seven people were injured.

In a statement on Twitter, she said: "All my thoughts are with those affected by the shocking incident in Birmingham last night.

"Our emergency services are working hard to find whoever is responsible and bring them to justice."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: "As we wait for news on the major incident in Birmingham overnight, all our thoughts are with the victims and anyone else affected.

"Thank you to our emergency services."

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) said a large number of resources were sent to Birmingham city centre overnight after the stabbing incidents.

WMAS said 14 ambulances were dispatched, along with 11 paramedic officers, a hazardous area response team, four critical care teams with doctors and critical care paramedics.

A team of St John Ambulance volunteers at the SafeSpace project at the Arcadian were also involved in treating casualties and conveyed one of the patients, WMAS added.

A total of seven patients were treated by ambulance staff - five of which were taken to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Three of the five taken to the major trauma centre had critical injuries and one man was pronounced dead shortly after arrival, WMAS said.

The ambulance service said an eighth patient with minor injuries did not receive ambulance treatment.

Speaking after the stabbing incidents in Birmingham, assistant chief ambulance officer Nathan Hudson said: "This was clearly a very serious situation with a large number of patients, some with very serious injuries.

"My thoughts are with the families of those hurt, particularly of the man who tragically lost his life.

"I must pay tribute to the ambulance staff who worked so hard at the scene and en-route to hospital to help each of the patients hurt.

"We train for incidents like this on a regular basis which meant that we were able to get a large number of ambulance resources into the scene very rapidly so that patients got the care they needed as quickly as possible."

Police investigations are ongoing
Police investigations are ongoing. Picture: PA

A police statement said: "We can now confirm that we've launched a murder investigation following the events in Birmingham city centre overnight.

"A man has tragically died. Another man and a woman have suffered serious injuries and five others have also been injured, although their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

"We believe the incidents, which took place between 12.30am and 2.20am, are linked and we're doing all we can to find whoever was responsible."

The West Midlands Police statement added: "We continue to hold a number of scenes across the city, including Livery Street, Irving Street and Hurst Street.

"We're urging anyone who witnessed anything or anyone who has any CCTV or mobile phone footage to get in contact as soon as possible, as the information you have may be crucial to our investigation."

Chief Superintendent Steve Graham, who is responsible for policing in Birmingham, said: "The events during the early hours of this morning are tragic, shocking and understandably frightening.

"Please be assured that we are doing absolutely everything we can to find whoever was responsible and try to understand what exactly happened.

"We have well-rehearsed plans for dealing with major incidents. Your safety is always our priority and that's why you'll see an increase in officers on the streets.

"In the meantime, we'd ask anyone who's in the city to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to us."

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said: "Last night's events are truly terrible and have shocked the people of Birmingham, the West Midlands and the country.

"My first thoughts are with the victims and their families at this time.

"I have every faith in West Midlands Police who are working extremely quickly on this investigation.

"My thanks also go to the ambulance and hospital staff who are working around the clock to help those who have been injured."