CCTV released in manhunt after one dead and seven injured in Birmingham stabbings

Video report by ITV News Reporter Stacey Foster

A search is underway for a man who is believed to have carried out a series of stabbings in Birmingham which left one person dead and seven injured - two seriously - police say.West Midlands Police said there is no indication the attacks were terror-related or motivated by hate crime or gang violence.

The police force released footage of a man they want to speak to about the stabbings.

Chief Superintendent Steve Graham said: “We have worked throughout the day to trawl CCTV footage and speak to witnesses to ensure we release the best possible video and image of the man we want to speak to.

“At this stage we believe that the attacks were random and we have no indication of a motive. I would urge people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to us.

“We are appealing for anyone who recognises the man in the footage to contact us urgently. We have a hotline number and a dedicated web page where you can submit information, photos and videos. If you see him, please do not approach him, but dial 999 immediately.”

The CCTV footage shows a man wearing a baseball cap, and wearing a dark hoodie with distinctive white drawstrings.

Police said a 23-year-old man suffered fatal injuries in Irving Street. A man and a woman, aged 19 and 32, suffered critical injuries, and five other people, aged between 23 and 33, were also injured.

They were treated in hospital and so far two have been discharged.

Police and paramedics were called to reports of a knife attack at 12.30am north of the city centre in Constitution Hill, with further stabbings then being reported.

The attacks are said to have been carried out by one suspect. Credit: ITV News Central/Pat Fenelon

Chief Superintendent Steve Graham, responsible for policing in Birmingham, said that further stabbings took place on Livery Street, Irving Street and Hurst Street.

He said: "At each of those incidents a number of stabbings took place. As a result of that, I am sorry to say that one person has died of the injuries receiving.

"Two other people remain in hospital, critically injured, and are still being worked upon of the injuries they sustained as a result of that attack."

He said that five other people received "relatively minor injuries" and some of them have been discharged from hospital.

Chief Superintendent Graham said that they were in the early stages of the murder inquiry but are treating "all four of those incidents as a linked series".

He added: "We are searching for one suspect and enquiries to identify and trace that suspect are ongoing."

Police cordons remain in place. Credit: PA

He asked for people with social media video to contact police to help with the investigation.

He acknowledged that as the suspect is still at large, people may be "nervous", adding: "There is a significant uniformed police presence, both armed and unarmed, within Birmingham city centre.

"So if people are coming to Birmingham city centre, I would say to them don't be afraid but be alert.

"With all the stuff going on around the pandemic, people are more wary of social distancing but if you see someone approaching you you are not happy with, then please do give them a wide berth.

"But what we are not saying at the moment is that Birmingham is not a safe place to be."

Forensic teams collect a black handled knife at the scene. Credit: PA

Eye-witnesses reported as many as eight people were injured following the disorder in the city overnight.

One witness, Cara, told BBC Radio Five Live she thought it was “one group of boys against another group of boys”.

She told the station she had heard racial slurs during the incident, adding it was a “multicultural night” in the clubs near the Arcadia complex.

She added: “They were not just having an argument and then fighting, it was straight into fists being thrown. There was not much talking going on.

“Drinks were being dropped, bottles that they had obviously bought in the club, rings were falling off so jewellery was going everywhere, clothes were being torn.

“One of the males actually ended up with his hair being pulled out and left with a bald patch.”

But reports of gunshots were denied by West Midlands Police who said that an arrest at Colmore Road by armed police was not related.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked emergency services for working at the scene.

He said: "All my thoughts are with those affected by the terrible incident in Birmingham last night."

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said: “Last night’s events are truly terrible and have shocked the people of Birmingham, the West Midlands and the country.

“My first thoughts are with the victims and their families at this time. 

“I have every faith in West Midlands Police who are working extremely quickly on this investigation.

“My thanks also go to the ambulance and hospital staff who are working around the clock to help those who have been injured.”

A police cordon remains in the area. Credit: ITV News Central/Pat Fenelon

The majority of Hurst Street, which runs past the Arcadian, has been taped off by police on Sunday morning, in an area which had already been closed off to traffic to aid social distancing.

Two forensic tents had also been sited in nearby Irving Street, close to the gates of a primary school.

The attack is not believed to be motivated by hate, police said. Credit: PA

Home Secretary Priti Patel said “all her thoughts” were with people affected by a stabbing in Birmingham in which one man died and seven people were injured.

In a statement on Twitter, she said: “All my thoughts are with those affected by the shocking incident in Birmingham last night.

“Our emergency services are working hard to find whoever is responsible and bring them to justice.”