Nottingham attack victim Grace O'Malley-Kumar 'died a hero' after 'trying to save' friend Barnaby Webber

16 June 2023, 22:23 | Updated: 17 June 2023, 09:53

The university students were stabbed to death on Tuesday morning
The university students were stabbed to death on Tuesday morning. Picture: Handout
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Grace O'Malley-Kumar, who was killed in Tuesday's Nottingham attacks, "died a hero" as she bravely tried to fight off a knifeman after her pal Barnaby Webber had been stabbed.

The Nottingham University students were walking home from a night out when they were stabbed at around 4am on Tuesday in Ilkeston Road.

One woman, who lives nearby, reviewed CCTV footage, which captured the attack, showing Grace's brave efforts to save her friend.

She told the Mail: "The boy and the girl were walking on their own, there was nobody else in the picture except the attacker."

She continued: "The girl had an opportunity to run away. But she didn't...she tried to save the boy.

"They were just walking home from PRYZM after a night out, like young people do."

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Grace died protecting her friend, a witness said
Grace died protecting her friend, a witness said. Picture: social media
Barnaby Webber
Barnaby Webber. Picture: Handout

A man has been charged with Grace and Barnaby's murder, as well as school caretaker Ian Coates.

Police said Valdo Calocane, 31, of no fixed address, was also charged with three counts of attempted murder.

Read More: Man, 31, charged with triple murder after students knifed to death in Nottingham

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He will appear at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.

He is charged with three counts of attempted murder after three members of the public were hit by a van.

Cricket coach of Nottingham victim, Grace Kumar, says the attacks have 'united' people

Chief Constable Kate Meynell, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “These charges are a significant development and arise as a result of our thorough investigation into these horrific incidents that occurred in our city.

"Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of all those affected by these attacks, and we will continue to provide support and reassurance.

"We would also ask people to respect the families’ wishes for privacy at this difficult time to allow them to grieve."

"This has been an incredibly sad time for our city and county, and we stand united with our communities as we come to terms with the effects of what has happened."

Read More: Nottingham attack suspect named as engineering graduate at same university of two victims

Mother of Nottingham victim urges city to ‘hold no hate’ at emotional vigil

On Thursday, thousands of people gathered to hold a minute's silence to commemorate Grace, Barnaby and Mr Coates, 65, who worked at a local school.

Barnaby's mother Emma said her cricket-loving son was "so proud" of his brother.

She told the crowd: "Please hold no hate to any race, colour, sex or religion in your heart... My beautiful boy - you have my, your dad and your brother's heart forever."

Barnaby's emotional brother held a photo of him as she spoke.

His father, David Webber, placed his hand on his his wife's shoulder throughout the entire speech.

Mr Coates' sons also spoke at the vigil wearing Nottingham Forest shirts with the slogan 'RIP Dad'.

One of the sons, James, promised support to the families of Grace and Barnaby.

Addressing the families, he said: "Obviously they are going through the same thing that we are, anything they need from us we're happy to support you."