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Murder investigation launched after man (28) dies in ‘chilling’ Downpatrick stabbing

A man in his 30s has been arrested on suspicion of murder

A 28-year-old man has died following a “vicious” stabbing incident in Downpatrick.

Eyewitnesses said the victim was stabbed with two knives before four men wrestled the attacker to the ground and disarmed him.

Paramedics worked on the male as the attacker was restrained on the ground just a few feet away.

Detectives from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team have launched a murder investigation after the incident in Downpatrick on Monday morning.

Forensic officers are carrying out investigations at the scene.

Detective Chief Inspector, John Caldwell said: “We believe that the man was stabbed in the Church Street area of the town around 11am today (Monday, 3rd January). Sadly, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“We have arrested a man in his 30s on suspicion of murder and he remains in custody at this time. I would appeal to anyone with information which could assist in our investigation or who may have dashcam footage to contact us on 101 quoting reference number 497 of 03/01/22.

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The scene in Downpatrick County Down after a stabbing took place on the town’s Church Street shortly after lunchtime. Credit Conor Kinahan / Pacemaker

The scene in Downpatrick County Down after a stabbing took place on the town’s Church Street shortly after lunchtime. Credit Conor Kinahan / Pacemaker

The scene in Downpatrick County Down after a stabbing took place on the town’s Church Street shortly after lunchtime. Credit Conor Kinahan / Pacemaker

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Police at the scene of a murder in Church Street, Downpatrick on January 3rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Police at the scene of a murder in Church Street, Downpatrick on January 3rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Police at the scene of a murder in Church Street, Downpatrick on January 3rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

“A report can also be submitted online using the non-emergency reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org/.”

A video was shared on social media showing the Air Ambulance taking off from the scene. 

A Northern Ireland Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We received a 999 call on Monday 3 January following reports of an assault in the Church Street area of Downpatrick.

“NIAS despatched a Rapid Response Paramedic, 3 Emergency Crews and a HART team to the incident.

“Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, no patients were taken to hospital.”

It comes after a woman aged in her 20s had been stabbed in the leg in Downpatrick during the early hours of Saturday morning. 

SDLP South Down MLA Colin McGrath said the public nature of the attack was “exceptionally chilling”.

"It is appalling to hear of this in our town and the local community will be understandably shocked,” he continued.

"There is absolutely no place for knife crime in our community and those responsible should feel the full weight of the law.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family at this time and I would encourage anyone with any further information about this stabbing to come forward to the police as soon as possible.”

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Police at the scene of a murder in Church Street, Downpatrick on Monday. Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph.

Police at the scene of a murder in Church Street, Downpatrick on Monday. Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph.

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Police at the scene of a murder in Church Street, Downpatrick on Monday. Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph.

Speaking this afternoon about the murder, Baroness Margaret Ritchie offered her “deepest sympathies” to the family and friends of the young man who lost his life in traumatic circumstances.

She said: “My thoughts and prayers are with the victim, his family and friends at this difficult time.

“Death is always difficult but it is also more challenging when it is the result of a serious incident. This follows on from the stabbing incident in the town a few days ago. 

"Both incidents are not characteristic of life, society and our community in Downpatrick and understandably the local population in Church Street and the wider town area will be traumatised and appalled by this incident.

“I totally condemn this murder which will be abhorred by all the population in Downpatrick and further afield.

“I would also urge anyone with information to give it to the Police so that those responsible can be apprehended and made subject to the law.”


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