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Man arrested after ‘targeted’ stabbing leaves one dead and another in hospital

Warwickshire Police have launched a hunt for another suspect in the murder investigation.

The scene at Tachbrook Road in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, where a man has been confirmed dead and another seriously injured after a double stabbing on Wednesday (Richard Vernalls/PA)
The scene at Tachbrook Road in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, where a man has been confirmed dead and another seriously injured after a double stabbing on Wednesday (Richard Vernalls/PA)

By Josh Payne and Richard Vernalls, PA

A murder investigation is under way after a young man was stabbed to death  in what police believe was a “targeted” attack.

Warwickshire Police said officers were called to reports of two men being stabbed in Tachbrook Road in Leamington Spa on Wednesday.

One of the victims, described by police as a “young male”, was pronounced dead at the scene despite the efforts of medics.

A second person, also described as a young male, suffered serious injuries and remains in critical condition in hospital.

A 33-year-old man from Leamington Spa has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Police said a manhunt is now under way for another suspect, last spotted about 10 minutes’ drive away from the scene.

Chief Superintendent Ben Smith, of Warwickshire Police, said officers were called to the scene after reports of a stabbing at about 11am.

“We understand this will be concerning to the local community and want to reassure the public that we are treating this as an isolated incident at this time as we believe this was a targeted attack with no ongoing risk to the wider public,” he said.

“We have arrested a 33-year-old man from Leamington on suspicion of murder and he remains in police custody at this time.”

He added: “Officers are also trying to locate another suspect believed to be involved in this incident who was last seen at around 11.30am on Emscote Road at the junction with Fosberry Close in Warwick.

“He is described as a young black male and is believed to have sustained an injury to his leg.”

Anyone who believes they may have seen the suspect is urged to contact police.

Mr Smith said the extent of the suspect’s injuries were not clear but added “we know he’s injured”.

He urged anyone in the medical profession who may have treated someone fitting the male’s description in that time-frame to contact police.

Mr Smith said the investigation was still in the early stages and was unable to say if the victims of the attack were from Warwickshire.

“I can’t confirm whether they are local or from outside the area at this stage,” he said.

Asked about a potential motive, he replied: “Clearly we do have a number of hypotheses that are leading the investigation.

“But it is too early at this stage to confirm any of those hypotheses.”

Asked if there was any indication the stabbings may be linked to so-called County Lines drug-dealing, Mr Smith said: “Clearly we are aware of that, in terms of (whether) it might be linked to that.

“It’s not something at the minute we can confirm or deny, it’s still early stages, but clearly that is a line of inquiry to see if that may be the case or not.”

He would not be drawn on whether a possible murder weapon had been recovered.

It's very worrying, things like this have happened too many times recently Resident Shauna Reilly

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) said they were called to the scene at 10.58am and found both men with serious injuries.

A spokeswoman for WMAS said: “Despite the best efforts of ambulance staff, one man was sadly confirmed deceased on scene.”

An extensive police cordon had been set up at the scene on Wednesday, with investigators’ activity focusing on a large blue forensics tent on the road near the junction with Gas Street.

Locals said the area, just 15 minutes’ walk from the centre of leafy Leamington Spa, is popular with students and there are a number of short-term let properties.

The tent itself was outside a row of terraced properties.

Police have also been seen checking CCTV at a nearby shop.

Resident Shauna Reilly walks her children to nursery via Tachbrook Road and said the route was shut by police after the stabbing.

“It’s very worrying, things like this have happened too many times recently,” the 29-year-old, who works from home, told the PA news agency.

“Scares the hell out of me. Hate my children being around all this horrible stuff.”

Another resident, who declined to be named, said the area seemed to be quiet but the stabbing had left him feeling “scared”.

PA

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