Youth stabbed to death at the sales
Horrified shoppers saw a teenager stabbed to death in broad daylight as thousands of bargain hunters thronged one of Britain's busiest shopping streets.
As London's Oxford Street bustled on the first day of the post-Christmas sales, a fight broke out in its Foot Locker store, leading to the teenager's death.
Hours later a second stabbing took place on the same street just a few hundred yards away, leaving a 21-year-old man with leg wounds. It is not known if the incidents are linked.
Police said they have recovered a number of weapons from the first crime scene and arrested 10 people. A white tent had been erected in the street a few yards from the entrance to the Foot Locker store.
The teenager was stabbed after a fight broke out between two groups of youths. Stunned shoppers looked on as the fight spilled out into the street. The 18-year-old victim was from south London. Police would not comment on speculation that the row was over a pair of trainers. They said the fight had broken out after the youths began "arguing" in the shop.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Dunne, the senior investigating officer from the Metropolitan Police's Homicide Command, said: "There appears to have been two groups of young people opposing each other and involved in this incident. It would appear at this stage there was a weapon involved that may well have been a knife but I can't confirm that yet."
Mr Dunne said the incident took place "in close proximity to the entrance to the store, if not within" the store, adding: "This is probably the busiest place in the United Kingdom right now on the busiest shopping day so it's been difficult for us to piece together what has happened and clear this area to do the job we are paid to do and work out a sequence of events here. The flipside of that is we have probably more witnesses than we would normally have and I'm very much looking forward to them coming and speaking to us."
A crime scene has been set up which runs from Duke Street to New Bond Street, near Bond Street underground station.
Inspector Bruce Middlemiss said the general public should not feel unsafe shopping in the West End despite the day's violence: "There is a high police presence here, we have a number of operations in place already for the shopping times because we were aware of the amount of people who would be here."
Police later said 11 people were being held in custody in connection with the fatal stabbing.