A father was stabbed to death during a “shocking and violent attack” just metres from his 14-year-old son on a train in Surrey, police said.
Officers were called to the South Western Railway service from Guildford to London Waterloo as it arrived at Horsley just after 1pm on Friday.
The incident was described as “incredibly frightening” for those onboard, with the victim, aged 51, declared dead after desperate attempts by police and paramedics to save his life.
The suspect – described earlier es a slim, tall, black man in his 20s or 30s wearing dark clothing and white trainers – was arrested alongside another person at 6am on Saturday.
The victim and the suspect are not believed to have known each other.
People near Clandon said they had seen low-flying police helicopters and vans equipped with powerful lighting as the search continued.
Some locals told reporters they had seen a suspicious looking man walking through fields near the station.
Meanwhile witnesses onboard the train praised the actions of staff, including the driver.
“How those guards and especially that train driver went into action was nothing short of incredible,” a person who said they were onboard wrote on Twitter.
“Not sure if it’s appropriate to say thank you, but I do hope everyone is ok after today’s event.”
Superintendent Paul Langley said in a statement on Friday evening: “By now you’ll be aware that British Transport Police and Surrey Police were called to Horsley station at 1.15pm today following a serious stabbing on board a South Western Railways train.
“The stabbing happened on the 12.58pm service from Guildford to London Waterloo.
“Tragically as a result of this stabbing, a man believed to be 51-years-old, was pronounced dead on board the train. Early indications suggest he received multiple stab wounds to his body.
“What we know at the moment is that the victim boarded the train at around 1.00pm at London Road station in Guildford, along with his 14-year-old son.
“Traumatically, the victims son would have been nearby when his father was fatally wounded. This would have been an horrific and hugely traumatic event to have witnessed and we are providing him with as much support as possible.
“We know that the suspect also boarded the service at London Road station, however at this time we do not believe they are known to each other.
“We also know that the suspect left the train service at Clandon station, and headed in the direction of Dedswell Drive. There have been a number of sightings in this areas from members of the public and our enquiries are focussing in on these areas.
“We have a number of officers in the area working hard to trace the man responsible for this violent and deadly attack. We are working close with Surrey Police and the National Police Air Service who are helping us to locate him.
“The suspect is a black man, in his 20s to 30s, approximately 6ft tall and of slim build with a beard, believed to be dressed all in black with white trainers.
“At this moment I would ask the public to please contact police urgently by calling 999 if they see anyone matching this description – please do not approach him.
“Our major investigation continues and we are appealing for witnesses to get in touch. If you were on board the train, we need to hear from you as soon as possible regardless if you saw what happened or not. Please text us on 61016.
“Finally, I would like to reassure the public that violent events such as this on the rail network are extremely rare.
“Over the course of the evening and into tomorrow, we will have extra officers out on duty in the local area to help reassure any concerned passengers and rail staff.”
South Western Railway said on Twitter there was disruption throughout the Guildford area into London Waterloo.
The company said that services “may be cancelled, delayed or revised” with disruption predicted to last until 9pm.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “The incident near Horsley is tragic, and our deepest sympathies are with the victim and their family.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident or with any information has been asked to contact BTP by sending a text to 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40 – quoting reference 210 of 04/01/19. Alternatively, they can ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
This article has been updated throughout and to include details of the arrest of a suspect and another person on 5 January.