MIRROR Online: LONDON, By Chiara Fiorillo – Two teenagers have died in Bristol after being “attacked by a number of people” who then fled the scene in a car, police have said.
A murder probe has been launched following the “incredibly shocking and tragic incident” in Knowle West last night. The boys – aged 15 and 16 – sustained stab wounds. They were taken to hospital but died in the early hours of today. Dozens of people later gathered for a vigil and one local described how she held one victim in her lap.
A 44-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy have since been arrested and a vehicle has been seized, Avon and Somerset Police said. Officers were called to Ilminster Avenue at around 11.20pm and provided first aid to the teenagers.
Formal identification of the victims has not yet taken place and a forensic post-mortem will be carried out in due course. Bristol Commander Supt Mark Runacres said: “This is an incredibly shocking and tragic incident where two young boys, who had their whole lives ahead of them, have sadly died.
“Our collective thoughts are with their families at what is undoubtedly a very difficult time. Specialist family liaison officers will now be assigned to the families to provide them with support and keep them updated on the investigation.
Ilminster Avenue in Knowle West has been cordoned off with a large police presence Bristol Live/BPM Media
“A cordon is in place on Ilminster Avenue between Newquay Road and Tavistock Road, and members of the public can expect to see a large police presence as forensic searches and other enquiries are conducted. There are a significant number of properties within the cordon and we would like to apologise for the disruption caused, but we hope people understand the importance of the work being carried out.
“House-to-house enquiries are underway and CCTV and doorbell footage continues to be gathered. We have also identified several witnesses who we will be taking statements from. Detectives are particularly keen to speak with passengers on a bus which was on Ilminster Avenue at the time of the incident.
“The neighbourhood policing team will be setting up a mobile police station near the scene. We encourage anyone with any concerns or questions to speak to any of the officers. High-visibility patrols will also be carried out to provide reassurance to the community.”
Police forensics at the scene in Bristol Bristol Live/BPM Media
He added: “It is extremely important there should be no commentary or sharing of information or images online which could in any way prejudice and any future proceedings. It can be an offence to identify anyone who witnessed all or part of the incident as well as those who have been arrested.
“I’d also like to remind people of the impact the sharing of images, footage or even discussing the incident online may have on the families of the two boys. They are already going through the most difficult of times and you may cause them further upset.”
He added in a further statement this afternoon: “There are further suspects that are being sought amongst the group that we believe are responsible.” And he said that officers are keen to speak to people who were on a double-decker bus which remains at the scene. It’s not believe anyone involved in the incident was on or got off the bus, Supt Runacres said.
Officers are conducting door to door inquiries Bristol Live/BPM Media
Locals in Knowle West said the violence had left them feeling “panicked” and unsafe. One man, who did not want to be named, said: “I have two kids. My daughter is 23. My son is 15. Have a think about how I feel as a father? I feel so bad and panicked. My son is 15 – I can’t believe it. I thought it was a joke at first. How is this possible in 2024? This is the problem. I don’t feel safe with my kids here.”
Another heartbroken local told this evening how she held one of the victims in her lap as emergency services raced to the scene. An estimated 150 residents of all ages turned out to pay their respects at a vigil on nearby Newquay Road. Dozens of floral tributes have been left and candles lit, and a minute’s silence was held.
Julie O’Reilly was among those in attendance – and revealed she witnessed the immediate aftermath. Visibly shaken, she said: “I was there. I went out to the young chap on the floor – I went out to him. I had his head on my lap. Trying to tell him: ‘Stay with us, stay with us – we’ve got help coming’. That was last night.
“[Today has been] awful. I can’t get it out of my head. He was a good boy.” Another local, Rianne, said she woke up to the news. She said: “It’s shocking, really sad – but you’re expecting to wake up to something these days. I don’t know the families – I’m in the community, but I don’t know the families.
“But I’ve got kids myself. I’ve just been in a right state. My kids have got to grow up around here.” The vigil was organised on social media this afternoon. One woman said “enough is enough” as she addressed the crowd and urged parents to take a tougher stance on crime in the area. She said: “Do not let your children come in with new clothes, new trainers, and you don’t know where they are from.We need to work together as a community.”
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Top Feature Photo: A major police investigation is underway in South Bristol Bristol Live/BPM Media