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Two butcher-style blades used in 'vicious' stabbing on Downpatrick street

PSNI officers at the scene of Monday's killing in Downpatrick's Church Street. Picture by Mal McCann
Paul Ainsworth

A MAN is being held on suspicion of murder after an “exceptionally chilling” stabbing – the second knife crime in the same street in three days.

Police detained the suspect at the scene in Downpatrick yesterday after several men tackled him.

A witness said the weapons were two large butcher-style blades.

The 28-year-old victim was attacked at about 11am on Church Street, having just left his nearby flat. He sustained multiple wounds.

It is understood that passers-by disarmed the suspect and held him until police arrived.

Paramedics were dispatched, as was the Air Ambulance, but police said the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

“We have arrested a man in his thirties on suspicion of murder and he remains in custody,” they said.

Forensic officers attend the scene in Downpatrick following the death of a 28-year-old man. Picture by Mal McCann

Independent councillor Cadogan Enright said his brother witnessed the aftermath, having got off a bus after police closed the road.

“This was a disturbing scene and I’m shocked that this has happened in broad daylight in Downpatrick,” he said.

SDLP South Down MLA Colin McGrath said: “The very vicious, daylight and public nature of this attack is exceptionally chilling and I utterly condemn it.”

Sinn Féin councillor Cathy Mason said the incident was disturbing.

“The local community here is very shocked. I would encourage anyone with information to contact the PSNI directly as soon as possible,” she said.

Former South Down MP Baroness Ritchie said people living close to the scene would be “traumatised and appalled”.

“I totally condemn this murder which will be abhorred by all the population in Downpatrick and further afield,” she said.

The attack follows another stabbing in the same street at about 1.30am on Saturday, when a woman was wounded in the leg. A man was also allegedly assaulted and broke a tooth. A 28-year-old woman was later arrested in connection with that incident.

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