Police now say that they are hunting a single knifeman following eight stabbings, one deadly, in multicultural Birmingham, but will not release a description of the suspect.
Initial, unverified witness accounts after the police-declared “major incident” in England’s second city had appeared to point towards gang violence, with a club promoter describing multi-ethnic clashes between groups hurling racial slurs at each other on the streets, and recalling “many gunshots” and finding one supposed shooting victim on the ground.
Police later confirmed they were launching a murder investigation, with one dead, two including a woman seriously injured, and five others less seriously injured, but did not confirm the group clashes or the involvement of firearms in the incident — and now say they are hunting a lone knifeman.
In comments reported by the BBC, Chief Superintendent Steve Graham nows says that “It does appear to be a random attack because we haven’t found any links between the victims, either in their nature or in where they were socialising.”
West Midlands Police have further suggested that the stabbings “did not appear terrorism-related, gang related or connected to disorder”, according to the BBC, and they are also saying there is “no evidence the stabbings were a hate crime.”
They are said to have multiple suspect descriptions, but are refusing to release any at this time despite the fact the perpetrator is seemingly at large, with armed police on the street in some locations.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that “All my thoughts are with those affected by the terrible incident in Birmingham last night” and thanked first responders.
Home Secretary Priti Patel, similarly, said that “All my thoughts are with those affected by the shocking incident in Birmingham last night” and “emergency services are working hard to find whoever is responsible and bring them to justice.”
This story is developing…