Two die in ‘barbaric’ attack by knife man in Belfast
- Suspect arrested after man and woman killed in north Belfast
- Witnesses saw ‘guy running about’ wielding a blade
A man and a woman were found dead on Monday afternoon in north Belfast following reports of a stabbing incident in the Kinnaird Close area.
A 35-year-old man was arrested and taken to Musgrave Police Station for questioning on Monday evening.
It is understood the suspect was detained in the Cliftonpark Avenue area after police gave chase.
A police helicopter was overhead during the incident as a large PSNI presence was felt in Kinnaird Close.
Police remained at the flat where the incident took place on Monday night.
Speaking at the scene, SDLP councillor Paul McCusker said his thoughts were with the families of those who died.
The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery, stated that at around 12.55pm police received a report from a member of the public that the bodies of two people had been discovered in a flat in the Kinnaird Close area.
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"The circumstances of the deaths will now be subject to investigation and post-mortem examinations will take place in due course," he added.
"At this stage it would not be appropriate to elaborate further on the circumstances as our enquiries are at an extremely early stage." North Belfast MLA Nichola Mallon said the news had "sent shockwaves" through the Kinnaird and Antrim Road communities.
"It was a very brutal attack that has resulted in the loss of life," commented the SDLP representative.
"We would appeal for anyone with any information, no matter how insignificant they think it may be, to urgently pass that on to the police."
Mr McCusker believes the victims were targeted because of their "vulnerability". "There is a lot of shock, anger and sadness here in the community hearing this news.
"These poor people and families had to be told that their loved ones have been killed in such a horrific and barbaric way."
He added: "That has caused lots of shock and anger right across the community."
Witnesses reported seeing a man wielding a knife.
Mr McCusker said: "I've had calls from people who witnessed a male with a knife.
"That has caused lots of shock and anger right across the community." Sinn Fein councillor JJ Magee appealed to the community to do all they can to assist police during their investigation into the deaths. "This tragedy has shocked and saddened the local community," said Mr Magee.
"I have visited families in Girdwood who have been forced to move out of their homes while police forensic teams examine the scene and I am working with statutory agencies to provide those families with emergency accommodation.
"This has been an awful experience for all concerned in the mouth of Christmas but people understand the seriousness and the tragic nature of today's events.
"I am appealing to the community to assist the police investigation in any way they can and to bring forward any information relevant to the investigation.
"It's also important in the wake of this incident that people remain vigilant." A spokesperson for the Ambulance Service stated yesterday: "The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service received a 999 call at 1.04pm on Monday relating to reports of an incident at Kinnaird Close, Belfast.
"NIAS despatched one rapid response paramedic and one officer to the scene. Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, no one was transferred to hospital."