Police make six arrests after 14-year-old boy stabbed to death in Birmingham | Birmingham


Police in Birmingham hunting for a group of men who chased then stabbed a 14-year-old black child to death have made six arrests and referred themselves to the police watchdog amid claims the killing was racially motivated.

West Midlands police initially said there was nothing to support a racial motive in Monday’s stabbing, despite concerns raised in the community. However, on Tuesday evening the force changed that stance, saying they were keeping an open mind as to the motive.

The teenager, who has not been named, was chased down by a group of people and stabbed on a busy road in Kingstanding, north Birmingham, at about 7.30pm on Monday and died at the scene.

West Midlands police believe up to seven suspects ran off after the boy collapsed. The six males all arrested on suspicion of murder include teenagers and men in their thirties, with some of those detained known to one another.

At around 3.35pm on Tuesday a 33-year-old man was arrested in Kingstanding, followed by a 13-year-old boy in Walsall, around nine miles from Birmingham.

Another two of the suspects were tracked and identified as being in Cheshire, where they were arrested in a car. One was an adult male, another a 14-year-old boy. Police said two men aged 35 and 36 walked into police stations and handed themselves in.

DCI Stu Mobberley, leading the investigation, said West Midlands police had worked with forces outside the area to apprehend the suspects.

Earlier on Tuesday, amid growing concerns in the community as to the motive, police had said they did not believe the killing to be racially motivated. Mobberley had said there was “some speculation in the community that this was a racially motivated attack”, but officers had found “nothing to suggest” this was the case.

However, on Tuesday evening, Mobberley issued a new statement saying: “We are aware of many different rumours circulating about the motive for the murder but we are keeping an open mind and pursuing all lines of inquiry. We ask people not to speculate on social media.”

Police also said they were voluntarily referring themselves to the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct over whether they had dealt properly with earlier contact with the victim. The incident is understood to have been a fight the victim was involved in.

The community activist Desmond Jaddoo said he had consoled the victim’s family at the scene of the attack on Monday night and he hoped the police would properly explore the possibility of a racist motive.

“I would ask the police that this is kept on their agenda and that no stone is left unturned, and not dismiss any feedback from our community,” he said. “Please let us remain calm, let the police do their job and let’s hold them to account on this.”

He said people were particularly concerned that such brutal violence had happened in broad daylight on a busy thoroughfare.

“As always, there is tension in the community following the death of a youngster and extra concern at the younger ages,” Jaddoo said. “His mother was clearly distraught and heartbroken to know that her 14-year-old son just went out with friends like anyone else and is not returning home.”

Police said they believed the teenager was chased on College Road, Kingstanding, by a number of people in the direction of a McDonald’s restaurant at about 7.30pm. He was then believed to have been stabbed by one of the group. He collapsed on the road and was pronounced dead a short time later.

West Midlands ambulance service said it sent two ambulances to the scene, which arrived within five minutes of the 999 call. The service said “nothing could be done” to save the teenager.

The West Midlands police and crime commissioner, Simon Foster, said the attack had “shocked and appalled the people of the West Midlands”. He said: “Whilst those close to the boy are facing untold grief, I would like to reassure them and the wider community that West Midlands police are working around the clock to find those responsible for this, and officers won’t rest until they do.”

Jaddoo urged Foster to show “leadership and take control” of what was happening. “We don’t want to be losing any more of our children,” he said.



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