wo of the three people killed in Tuesday’s attacks in Nottingham were teenage students in the city.
The two 19-year-olds who attended the University of Nottingham were stabbed to death in a street at about 4am on Tuesday before officers were called to another incident in a nearby road where a van driver had tried to run over three people in the city centre.
A man in his 50s was then found dead in another city centre road as a huge police investigation began. A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Kate Meynell said it was believed the older victim’s van had been stolen and was driven at three people in Milton Street.
One man remains in hospital in a critical condition while two others suffered minor injuries following that incident.
A 31-year-old man remains in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of murder.
One of the student victims has been named as talented cricketer Barnaby Webber.
Mr Webber was said to be a first year student who was a member of Bishops Hull Cricket Club in Taunton and a former pupil at the private Taunton school.
His grandfather told the Sun: “It’s tragic. We can’t say anything at the moment. Everyone knows the family locally.”
In a statement on Tuesday, the University of Nottingham said: “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.
“Support is available through our support and wellbeing services for any of our community who may need it.”
The graduation ball set to take place on Tuesday evening at the university has been cancelled. A vigil at Nottingham’s St Peter’s Church, in the city centre, was attended by hundreds of people paying their respects to those who died and those injured.
During the service, attended by mainly students from both the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, those present were invited to place flowers below the altar or light a candle.
Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Kate Meynell, on Tuesday afternoon, said: “Police were called to Ilkeston Road just after 4am after a member of the public reported that two people aged 19 had been stabbed and were unresponsive.
“We had a further call to another incident in Milton Street, where the driver of a stolen van had attempted to run over three people. As a result, one man is in hospital in a critical condition while two others are believed to have suffered minor injuries.
“The van was then stopped on Maple Street, where a man was tasered and detained by police officers on suspicion of murder. A man in his 50s was also found dead from knife injuries in Magdala Road by a member of the public.
“At the moment, we believe that the suspect has stolen this man’s vehicle and driven it to Milton Street, where he is then driven at members of the public.
“We are still in the early stages of the investigation. I need to determine exactly what the motives were behind this attack.”
A female witness described seeing a white van near Nottingham’s Theatre Royal at around 5.30am. She said the driver saw a police car before speeding up and driving at a man and a woman, hitting both.
She said that a man appeared to have a head injury.
“They did get him to his feet,” she added, but said of the woman who was hit: “She was sitting up on the curb, to me she looked OK. I was there for 15 minutes and there was no ambulance. One of the policemen, I think, did first aid. He looked after a man on the floor.”
A man was then found dead on Magdala Road in the suburbs near Sherwood.
A large area was cordoned off and tram services were suspended over what was described in loudspeaker announcements as a major incident. The public was also told to avoid the area.
On Tuesday at around 1pm a number of armed police were seen raiding a property on Ilkeston Road, a few hundred yards from where two of the victims were found dead. It has not been confirmed by police the raid was connected to the attacks. A cordon remains in place at the property.
Kate Meynell, the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, described what had happened as “an horrific and tragic incident which has claimed the lives of three people”.
She added: “We believe these three incidents are all linked and we have a man in custody.
“This investigation is at its early stages and a team of detectives is working to establish exactly what has happened.
“We ask the public to be patient while inquiries continue. At this time, a number of roads in the city will remain closed as this investigation progresses.”
A resident on Ilkeston Road said a policewoman was “banging on my door” at around 5am asking for any CCTV footage.
The man, who asked to only be known as Wayne, said he was told the incident happened around 4.10am before being asked if he had witnessed anything.
“I didn’t see or hear anything, but I’m not surprised this sort of thing has happened around here,” he added.
Rumours spread of a possible terrorist motivation, but there was no early indication to support that idea, although security sources cautioned that investigations into the suspect’s background would take time to complete.
Counter-terrorism police were understood to be assisting although local officers remained in charge of the investigation.
As news of the deaths spread, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was being updated on developments.
“I want to thank the police and emergency services for their ongoing response to the shocking incident in Nottingham this morning,” he said.
“I am being kept updated on developments. The police must be given the time to undertake their work.
“My thoughts are with those injured, and the family and loved ones of those who have lost their lives.”
Local MP Alex Norris tweeted: “Awful news for our city to wake up to today. Our community’s thoughts and prayers are with all those affected.”
Nottinghamshire county council leader Ben Bradley, the MP for Mansfield, tweeted that his thoughts were “with everyone in the city”.
One shopowner, just outside the cordon on Upper Parliament Street, arrived to find nearly all of the city centre cordoned off by police.
She told the Standard: “It’s just crazy. I have never seen anything like it in Nottingham. People have been told they won’t be opening today but not much else.”
GB News published footage of a suspect being arrested by armed officers after being pulled from a smashed up white van.
A student told the broadcaster: “We woke up at about 5.30am this morning to what sounded like gunshots.
“We ran to the window and there were armed police running out of what looked like an undercover car.
“Then the suspect was in a van and was tasered and dragged out and then later arrested.
“We saw a man pinned down on the ground and more armed police turned up.
“They searched the back of the van and they pulled an absolutely massive knife out the back of the van.”
Roads cordoned off include Ilkeston Road, Milton Street, Maples Street, and Woodborough Road, from the junction with Magdala Road into the city.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman also thanked emergency services.
She tweeted: “I am shocked & saddened that three people have lost their lives today in Nottingham.
“My thoughts are with those affected by this incident. I have spoken to @nottspolice Chief Constable & am receiving regular updates. I am thankful to the emergency services for their response.”
Nottingham City Council’s Leader, Councillor David Mellen, said: “I am shocked and saddened by these horrific deaths. My thoughts and prayers are with those who knew and loved the three people who have died and those who have been injured, and to the communities where they lived.
“Ours is an overwhelmingly peaceful and tolerant city where people get along with one another and it’s incomprehensible that such dreadful violence has happened here.
“I’m grateful to the police for swiftly making an arrest and for all the emergency services responding to this tragic situation and keeping us safe.”