Three fatally killed before attacker ‘stole victim’s van’ to drive at others in Nottingham attacks

Watch ITV News Central's special coverage tonight in the East Midlands

Three people have been stabbed to death before the attacker "stole a victim’s van" to drive at others, police have said.

The victims, two 19-year-olds and a man in his 50s, were fatally knifed before the attacker allegedly stole the older victim's van and tried to run over three people in Nottingham.

In a press conference on Tuesday evening, Nottinghamshire Police said a 31-year-old suspect has been arrested on suspicion of murder after being tasered by police.

The University of Nottingham said two of the victims were students- one has been locally identified as Grace O'Malley-Kumar, a 19 year old who was a star hockey player.

She was a popular member of England hockey teams, the sport’s governing body has said.

England Hockey tweeted: “We are all deeply saddened by the news of the tragic death of Grace Kumar in Nottingham on Tuesday.

“Grace was a popular member of the England U16 and U18 squads and our thoughts are with Grace’s family, friends, teammates and the whole hockey community at this time.”

Woodford Wells Cricket Club, in Essex, said Kumar was a former captain of one of their teams.

“Devastated to hear the news about former Wells Baby Belles captain, Grace Kumar,” the club tweeted.

“A fiercely competitive, talented and dedicated cricketer and hockey player. Our thoughts are with Sanjoy, Sinead and James at this time and everyone who knew Grace – fun, friendly and brilliant.”

The other victim is a 19 year old man named Barnaby Webber.

Barnaby Webber was fatally stabbed on Tuesday.

His family described him as a “beautiful, brilliant, bright young man, with everything in life to look forward to”, expressing their "complete devastation" at his death.

In a short statement, Taunton-based Bishops Hull Cricket Club paid tribute to Mr Webber, who was one of its members, describing him as a “dear friend”.

The victim was described as a “key part” of the club and the statement invited family and friends to lay flowers and pay their respects at the ground.

Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan also paid tribute to Mr Webber, describing him as a “young cricketer gone far too soon”.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday evening, Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: “We are not looking for anyone else in connection with the attacks and I can reassure the public that it is safe to visit the city centre – though there may be some road restrictions as we continue to establish what has happened."

Police were called to Ilkeston Road just after 4am after a member of the public reported that two people, aged 19, had been stabbed in the street and were unresponsive.

Officers were then called to Milton Street where the driver of a stolen van had attempted to run over three people. One man was taken to hospital in a critical condition, while two others suffered minor injuries.

  • Nottinghamshire Police reveal the sequence of events in the attacks

The van was then stopped on Maple Street, where a man was detained by officers.

A man in his 50s was also found dead from knife injuries in Magdala Road by a member of the public.

Chief Constable Kate Meynell added: "We are keeping an ‘open mind’ and are working alongside Counter Terrorism Policing to establish the facts – as we would normally do in these types of circumstances."

The force said the motive "remains unclear".

  • Many attended a vigil held in honour of those killed and injured in the attack

A vigil for the victims, at Nottingham’s St Peter’s Church, was attended by hundreds of people.

During the service, attended by mainly young people of university age, those present were invited to place flowers below the altar or light a candle.

The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, the Rt Rev'd Paul Williams, said the impromptu service was an opportunity to “pray for those whose lives have so cruelly taken away”.

Police also confirmed a number of addresses across the city have been searched on Tuesday, but no further arrests have been made.

Detectives said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the "horrific" incident.

The University of Nottingham's student's union confirmed that following the attacks, Tuesday’s graduation ball had been cancelled.

A statement read: “It is with great sadness that we confirm the sudden and unexpected death of two of our students following a major incident in Nottingham city centre overnight.

“We are shocked and devastated by the news and our thoughts are with those affected, their families and friends. We know this is likely to cause distress for staff and students in our community.”

Nottingham attack: What we know so far as three dead and man arrested

Home Secretary Suella Braverman also expressed shock at the attack. She said: “First of all, I want to say how shocked and saddened I am that three people have lost their lives earlier today in Nottingham and that further individuals have been injured in this tragic incident.

“My thoughts first and foremost are with all of those who have been involved, their friends, their families and their communities.

“I want to thank the emergency services for their rapid response. They’re working around the clock to keep people safe and we’re incredibly grateful for their efforts.”

She added: “I’m in regular contact with the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, but I want to take this opportunity to urge anybody who has any information about this incident to come forward and report it to the police.”

  • Map showing where three people were found dead in Nottingham city centre

Unverified footage showed a suspect being arrested outside a convenience store in Bentinck Road on Tuesday morning, although police would not say whether this was linked to the investigation.

The force has not yet commented on whether the attacks are being treated as terrorism.

Armed police could be seen standing outside a property, which has a "sold" estate agent sign outside, on Ilkeston Road on Tuesday afternoon.

Police officers at an address on Ilkeston Road in Nottingham Credit: PA

Shortly after 1pm, armed police appeared to then rush to a separate location further down the road, quickly cordoning off the adjoining Forster Street.

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.”

Many nearby residents witnessed the events. Local Glen Gretton said he was awoken at around 5am on Tuesday by the sounds of a series of police cars passing his home.

The 46-year-old delivery driver, who lives in a flat on Mansfield Road in Sherwood, said: "I heard a police car go past. It was driving extremely quickly, followed by another one, another one. They just kept coming so I knew something quite major… was happening somewhere around the city centre."

A forensic officer at the scene in Nottingham city centre after three people were killed. Credit: PA

One witness told the BBC he saw a young man and young woman being stabbed in 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 of 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.”

Forensics at the scene in Nottingham on Tuesday morning. Credit: PA

Nottingham’s three Labour MPs, Nadia Whittome, Lilian Greenwood and Alex Norris, said they were “shaken” by the events in the city.

A joint statement posted on Twitter by Ms Whittome said: “Our city has been devastated by the deaths of three people this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those who have died and those injured.

“We are grateful for the efforts of the city’s emergency responders in tackling these incidents. They must be allowed to do their jobs in investigating them.

“Nottingham is a beautiful city, home to brilliant people from all backgrounds. We are shaken by today’s events but will meet them collectively as a community and heal together.

“Nottinghamshire Police has set up a dedicated line for anyone with information on this morning’s incident or with concerns about a family member or friend.”

Nottinghamshire Police earlier urged members of the public to avoid many areas in the city centre and plan alternative routes.

The Nottingham Express Transit (NET) tram network also said it had suspended all services due to "major police incidents around the city and suburbs".

Nottinghamshire Police has set up a dedicated line for anyone with any information about the incident.

They said: "If you have any information on this mornings incident or are concerned about a family member or friend please call this dedicated line - 0800 0961011"

Police, paramedics and firefighters are all at the scene, along with specialist rescue unit vehicles Credit: BPM Media

What is the NILO?

Emergency workers in purple uniforms were seen at the cordon on Tuesday morning as news of the incident unfolded.

The National Inter-Agency Liaison Officers (NILO) are elite multi-agency operatives who provide tactical support and advice to the police, ambulance and fire services.

Their role is to be deployed during critical incidents, where they can share intelligence and information between emergency services.

The concept was initially developed in 2001 by the London Fire Brigade. Similar roles were then adopted by fire services across the country - which then led to a national standard for officers.

The role requires special security clearance to allow for sensitive information to be shared between the police, Fire, military and Ambulance services.

In the wake of the Manchester Arena terror attack, the liaison role was critical to the Greater Manchester Fire Rescue Service's response to the bombing, according to an inquiry.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…