POLICE are hunting for the knifeman who killed one man and injured seven others, two of them seriously, in a series of stabbings in Birmingham city centre on Saturday night.
West Midland police have confirmed they have launched a murder investigation.
“We believe the incidents, which took place between 12.30am and 2.20am, are linked and we’re doing all we can to find whoever was responsible”, an official statement says.
According to the force “detectives are following a number of lines of enquiry.”
The statement said uniformed and armed response in the city has been increased, while they “continue to hold” scenes of the stabbings, including Livery Street, Irving Street and Hurst Street.
The police have also appealed to the public to come forward with any information, photos or videos which could help.
“We’re urging anyone who witnessed anything or anyone who has any CCTV or mobile phone footage to get in contact as soon as possible, as the information you have may be crucial to our investigation.
“The events during the early hours of this morning are tragic, shocking and understandably frightening”, commented the Chief Superintendent responsible for policing in Birmingham, Steve Graham, earlier on Sunday.
But he stressed that every effort is being made to find the suspect.
“Please be assured that we are doing absolutely everything we can to find whoever was responsible and try to understand what exactly happened”, he said.
“We have well-rehearsed plans for dealing with major incidents. Your safety is always our priority and that’s why you’ll see an increase in officers on the streets.
“In the meantime, we’d ask anyone who’s in the city to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to us.”
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson echoed the Superintendent’s words.
“Last night’s events are truly terrible and have shocked the people of Birmingham, the West Midlands and the country.”
He referred to “pent up feelings” in people due to the Covid-19 pandemic as a result of being stuck indoors and due to the uncertainty it has created, and expressed the view that a rise in violence was “almost inevitable”.
“It is a regrettable, awful incident and we hope it will not deter people from coming into the city to work and shop,” he added, and stressed he has “every faith in West Midlands Police, who are working extremely quickly on this investigation.”
Tweeting on what he described as a “terrible incident”, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the emergency services working on the scene and said that all his thoughts are with those affected.