West Midlands Police had declared a “major incident” in Birmingham, England’s multicultural second city, confirming multiple stabbings.
“We can confirm that at approximately 12:30 a.m. today we were called to reports of a stabbing in Birmingham city centre,” the force confirmed on Sunday morning, after a night of alarming claims on social media.
“We immediately attended, along with colleagues from the ambulance service. A number of other stabbings were reported in the area shortly after,” the force said.
“We are aware of a number of injured people, but at the moment we are not in a position to say how many or how serious,” they added, assuring the public that they were on the scene and that the injured were receiving medical attention.
While the police have not said whether the incidents, centred around the city’s so-called Gay Village, might be terror-related or not at this stage, unverified eyewitness accounts seem to point more in the direction of multi-ethnic gang violence as of the time of publication.
We immediately attended, along with colleagues from the ambulance service. A number of other stabbings were reported in the area shortly after.
— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) September 6, 2020
A club promoter speaking to the BBC suggested that fights between people of different races had broken out on what was “quite a multicultural night”, with racial slurs being used.
She added, however, that “it wasn’t just black people against Asian people, or white people against anybody else, it was many groups… all different cultures just going at each other; it wasn’t like it was race on race, it was like group on group.”
The promoter also reported “many gunshots”, claiming to have heard two of them, and later seeing a “young male laying on the floor” who she was told had been shot by an eyewitness.
As of the time of writing West Midlands Police say they are “aware of some comments that gunshots were fired, [but] this has not been reported to us at this stage.”
'I've never witnessed anything like it'
Police have declared a major incident after a stabbing in Birmingham City Centre.
Cara works in the area and was at the scene.
— BBC Radio 5 Live (@bbc5live) September 6, 2020
This story is developing…