NEWS
15/08/2011 03:35 BST | Updated 14/10/2011 06:12 BST

Murder Investigation Underway After Six Killed In Jersey Knife Attack

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- A murder investigation is under way after a crazed knifeman went on the rampage on Jersey killing six people, including three young children.

The attack spilled from a flat and into the street in an area described by a detective as "one of the safest places in the western world".

The victims were two women, one man and three young children believed to be Jersey residents but whose identities have not been disclosed. A 30-year-old man is under arrest at Jersey General Hospital where he is in a serious but stable condition after undergoing surgery.

Inquiries are continuing to establish a motive but it is understood no-one else is being sought over the attacks, which shocked the close knit community.

Detective Superintendent Stewart Gull, leading the inquiry for States of Jersey Police, said: "It goes without saying that when you are dealing with multiple deaths, of men and women and, in particular young children, you would be inhuman not to be shaken yourself."

Speaking at a news conference, he added: "Jersey is an incredibly safe island, probably one of the safest places in the western world and incidents of this nature are an extremely rare occurrence, particularly in Jersey and across the UK."

Mr Gull, who led the Ipswich serial murders inquiry in 2006, said it was a "challenging and quite complex" case for emergency teams to deal with but praised their response.

The alarm was raised just after 3pm on Sunday by a member of the public reporting a multiple stabbing at a flat at Victoria Crescent, Upper Midvale Road, St Helier. Five people were initially confirmed dead but a sixth victim - a woman - was later also pronounced dead at Jersey General Hospital. It is unclear what relationship the victims may have.

The hospital's emergency department was closed for more than two hours due to the volume of victims being admitted, and staff were called in on days off to help stretched colleagues.

At the scene, witness Andre Thorpe said he believed all the victims were members of the same family. Meanwhile, a neighbour thought they were Polish but police were unable to confirm this.