By Lucy Ashton
Witnesses have described hearing screams as two people were stabbed amid a string of attacks in Nottingham in central England that left three dead and another three in hospital.
Nottingham-shire Police said two people were found dead in Ilkeston Road at about 4am on Tuesday. The body of another victim was discovered in Magdala Road, and another three people were hurt when someone tried to run them over in a van in Milton Street.
A witness told the BBC he saw a young man and young woman being stabbed on Ilkeston Road, close to the junction with Bright Street.
The man, who did not give his name, said he heard “awful, blood-curdling screams” and looked out his window to see a “black guy dressed all in black with a hood and rucksack grappling with some people”.
He told the broadcaster: “She was screaming: ‘Help!’ I just wish I’d shouted something out of the window to unnerve the assailant.
“I saw him stab the lad first and then the woman. It was repeated stabbing – four or five times. The lad collapsed in the middle of the road.
“The girl stumbled towards a house and didn’t move. The next minute she had disappeared down the side of a house, and that’s where they found her.
“I’d say it all happened within five or six minutes. The attacker then just walked off up Ilkeston Road towards town, as calm as anything.”
The man said he called the police who arrived within five minutes, before paramedics tried to revive the pair for 40 minutes.
A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Unverified footage showed a suspect being detained outside a convenience store in Bentinck Road.
Damage could be seen to the bonnet and windscreen of a white van which was left at the scene.
Road closures have been put in place covering a wide area of Nottingham city centre. The tram network was also disrupted as the police investigation continued.
“We believe these three incidents are all linked and we have a man in custody.
“This investigation is at its early stages and a team of detectives is working to establish exactly what has happened.
“We ask the public to be patient while inquiries continue. At this time, a number of roads in the city will remain closed as this investigation progresses.”
The force has not yet commented on whether the attacks are being treated as terrorism.
British prime minister Rishi Sunak thanked the emergency services for their response to the “shocking incident”, adding: “My thoughts are with those injured, and the family and loved ones of those who have lost their lives.”
Home Secretary Suella Braverman also expressed her shock at the deaths, and said she is receiving regular updates from Nottingham-shire Police.
Another witness, Lynn Haggitt, told Channel 4 News she saw a van hitting two people at around 5.30am near the Theatre Royal.
“I saw a van pull up at the side of me,” she said. “It was white, all white. There was a police car behind it, coming up slowly, no flashing lights.
“The man in the driver’s seat looked in his mirror and saw the police car behind him.”
She said the white van then drove up to “the corner of the street and went into two people”.
“The lady ended up on the kerb, and then he backed up the white van and he went… speeded up Parliament Street with the police cars following him,” Ms Haggitt added.
The man who was hit suffered a head injury but got to his feet, while the woman was sitting on the kerb, she told the broadcaster.
Both Nottingham Fire and Rescue and East Midlands Ambulance Service confirmed they were also dealing with the aftermath of the attacks. – PA