"Hundreds of shoppers" may have witnessed double fatal stabbing in city centre as police quiz 23-year-old man over attack

'Hundreds of shoppers' may have witnessed double fatal stabbing in city centre as police quiz 23-year-old man over attackTwo
men in their 30s were stabbed in the centre of the city last night

By
Paul Milligan and Anthony Bond

PUBLISHED:

20:06 GMT, 11 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:03 GMT, 12 January 2013

Hundreds of shoppers may have witnessed a double fatal stabbing in Birmingham city centre last night, police have said.

Two
men in their 30s were stabbed in the centre of the city just before
6pm last night. A 23-year-old man is today being questioned on suspicion of stabbing the two men to death.

West Midlands Police said one victim
was understood to have been stabbed outside a Sainsbury’s store on
Martineau Place while the second was found slumped near Boots in Union
Street.

Probe: The scene today in Union Passage, in the heart of Birmingham City Centre where two stabbings took place last night

Probe: The scene today in Union Passage, in the heart of Birmingham City Centre where two stabbings took place last night

Horrific: Police said hundreds of shoppers may have witnessed the double fatal stabbing in Birmingham city centre last night. Forensics officers are pictured at the scene today

Horrific: Police said hundreds of shoppers may have witnessed the double fatal stabbing in Birmingham city centre last night. Forensics officers are pictured at the scene today

Officers gave first aid to the men but both were pronounced dead at the scene. A man was arrested in New Street near the Odeon Cinema minutes after the stabbings.

A
police spokesman said: 'It is believed there are potentially hundreds
of people who may have seen the incident or the offender leave the scene
following the incident and police are urging people to come forward as
they may have vital information.'

Inspector
David Keen said: 'Two men have suffered fatal injuries – these have
been inflicted in the heart of the city at a busy time when workers and
shoppers would be heading home.

'There
are potentially hundreds of witnesses, either people who saw the
stabbings or the offender leaving the scene, and I’d urge people to get
in touch immediately – they could have vital information.

Fatal: One victim was understood to have been stabbed outside this Sainsburys store

Fatal: One victim was understood to have been stabbed outside this Sainsburys store

Investigation: Two men in their 30s were stabbed in the centre of the city. A 23-year-old man is today being questioned on suspicion of stabbing the two men to death

Investigation: Two men in their 30s were stabbed in the centre of the city. A 23-year-old man is today being questioned on suspicion of stabbing the two men to death

'A large police presence was quickly on the scene and a man was arrested swiftly.'

The
police spokesman said that Union Street had now reopened but small
areas were still cordoned off in Union Passage, outside Sainsbury’s in
Martineau Place and near the Odeon Cinema in New Street while forensic
investigations continue.

Police
have identified the men but their details are not being released at
this stage. Post-mortem examinations will take place later today to
establish the exact cause of death.

Extra patrols will be taking place in the city centre throughout the weekend.

Police urged anyone in the area at the time to contact them. Anyone with information was asked to call police on the 101 number.

Police at the scene on Union Street in Birmingham city centre after two men were stabbed to death

Police at the scene on Union Street in Birmingham city centre after two men were stabbed to death

A Police forensic investigator at the scene of the fatal stabbings

A Police forensic investigator at the scene of the fatal stabbings