Victim and man later arrested by PSNI both believed to have lived at same Bangor property
People have told of their shock after a second fatal stabbing took place in Northern Ireland in just over 24 hours.
The latest violent death — of a man aged in his 50s — occurred at a property in Bangor, Co Down, during the early hours of Wednesday morning.
It follows the unconnected killing of Newtownabbey woman Kathleen ‘Katie’ Brankin (37), who was stabbed to death at a holiday accommodation site in Limavady on Monday evening.
Residents living in Bangor’s Beatrice Road spoke of shock at the “grim” news of the latest death, with many expressing horror at what had taken place yards away from their own homes.
A 35-year-old man has since been arrested on suspicion of murder by the PSNI.
It is understood both men resided at the terraced property, which is believed to house separate living accommodation for a number of residents.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Latest PSNI figures show that nearly 700 crimes involving knives or a sharp instrument were recorded in Northern Ireland over the past 12 months to March this year.
One neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said he witnessed a man entering the property just hours before the stabbing was reported to police.
“It was around 6.30pm and I said hello to him and he then went inside,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.
The man then heard what he described as a “commotion” starting around midnight.
“I was in bed, and I stuck my headphones on. With people leaving pubs, it’s not unusual to hear people walking down the street at night,” he explained.
The quiet street, nestled between the town centre’s now closed Flagship Centre and within walking distance of Ward Park, was in a sombre mood yesterday.
Some residents briefly gathered in small groups to reflect on the shocking incident, while others politely declined to speak to the media.
When the Belfast Telegraph visited the scene, police vehicles were parked close to the house, which had been cordoned off with police tape with only forensic officers observed entering and leaving the property.
A single white flower had been left outside the house in memory of the victim.
Reflecting on the stabbing, the resident added: “It’s grim. It’s a strange one. This is a quiet street. At night-time you can hear a bit of sound with people coming and going but there’s families living here and older people.”
Another neighbour Adam Bradley revealed that he had heard shouting while lying in bed, but stressed it was not unusual occurrence.
“You would hear shouting most nights, so I didn’t pay much attention to be honest,” he explained.
“I didn’t hear about what happened until a friend sent me on what the PSNI had posted on Facebook.”
A few doors away, one man told this newspaper loud noises could “always” be heard coming from the property.
“I didn’t hear anything this morning though but I’m shocked, obviously, by what’s happened,” he said.
UUP councillor David Chambers said he offered his condolences to the victim’s family and loved ones in light of the tragic event.
“I’m shocked to learn of such a brutal murder in the town. I’m pleased the PSNI have acted swiftly and arrested an individual and I hope charges are brought soon,” he said.
Meanwhile, North Down DUP MLA Stephen Dunne said the death has sent “shockwaves” through the community.
“This area is a quiet residential area within the town centre of Bangor and local people are understandably very alarmed at waking up to this shocking news,” said Mr Dunne.
“I would appeal to anyone with any information to contact the PSNI immediately on this horrific attack and my thoughts are with the victim’s family.”
Alliance MP Stephen Farry said there was “shock and sadness at yet another senseless death” and appealed to anyone with information to contact authorities.
“While the police have made an arrest, there remains an ongoing murder investigation. And anyone with any information should come forward,” he said.
PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Michelle Shaw confirmed yesterday that a murder probe has been launched.
“We received a report, just after midnight, that a man in his 50s had been attacked at a property on Beatrice Road. Officers attended but sadly, the man was pronounced dead at the scene,” she said.
“A murder investigation is now underway and we would appeal for witnesses or those with information to please call us on 101.”