BIRMINGHAM, UK (Telegraph) – A murder investigation has been launched in Birmingham after one man died following a series of stabbings in the early hours of the morning.
Another man and a woman have suffered serious injuries and five others were injured, West Midlands Police said.
The force said in a statement: “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.
“Detectives are following a number of lines of enquiry and we’ve increased our uniformed and armed response in the city.”
A large crime scene stretches from Hurst Street to Snow Hill almost a mile away.
Yellow triangles have been placed on the street by police and forensic officers to mark areas of interest by police.
Witnesses or anyone who has CCTV or mobile phone footage has been urged to contact the police.
Chief Superintendent Steve Graham 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.”
Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, said a “very serious incident” had occurred, adding he was not aware of any information providing a link to terrorism.
He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “We know it’s a very serious incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
“I think at this point in time we don’t know too much more than that other than to say the public should be very vigilant.”
Mr Marr asked: “At this stage we’re not treating it as a terrorist incident?”
Mr Raab replied: “I haven’t got any information to that extent.”
Witness: It was multicultural night in the clubs
A witness, Cara, told 5 Live she had heard racial slurs during the incident, adding that it was a “multicultural night” in the clubs near the Arcadian Centre.
She added: “They were not just having an argument and then fighting, it was straight into fists being thrown. There was not much talking going on.
“Drinks were being dropped, bottles that they had obviously bought in the club, rings were falling off so jewellery was going everywhere, clothes were being torn.
“One of the males actually ended up with his hair being pulled out and left with a bald patch.”
The Arcadian venue, located around five minutes’ walk from Birmingham New Street station, is a hub of restaurants, bars, cafes, clubs and hotels.
Featuring an open air central piazza, it is close to the city’s Chinese Quarter and Gay Village areas.
The majority of Hurst Street, which runs past the Arcadian, has been taped off by police on Sunday morning, in an area which had already been closed off to traffic to aid social distancing.
Two forensic tents had also been sited in nearby Irving Street, close to the gates of a primary school.
A small blue police tent could be seen covering a small area of pavement in Livery Street, Birmingham, behind a wide police cordon, right next to Snow Hill station, about half a mile from the Irving Street scene.
About 100 yards away, a second small blue tent was visible in Barwick Street, near the junction of Church Street.
Around the corner in Edmund Street, officers had extended a cordon after removing a drain cover and sifting material.
Among the muck and debris could be seen a black-handled kitchen knife with a serrated blade, which was separated and quickly removed by officers.
A short distance away was what appeared to be a trail of blood spots at the pavement in Newhall Street, leading down to Edmund Street.
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.”