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What happened in Nottingham? Latest updates stabbing suspect found to be ex-university student

The suspect in the murder of three people in Nottingham on Tuesday is a former University of Nottingham student, police have revealed.

Police said they do not believe this is connected to the attack, in which two of the three victims were current students at the same university.

University students Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Barnaby Webber, both 19, were killed on Ilkeston Road while on the way home from a night out at around 4am. The body of the third victim, school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, was found about two miles away on Magdala Road.

What happened in the Nottingham attack?

The series of attacks happened in the early hours of Tuesday morning. All three victims are believed to have been stabbed, with the suspect later stealing Mr Coates’s van and driving it into three pedestrians in two separate incidents before being tasered and arrested.

One man remains in a serious condition in hospital after being run down in the Milton Street area while two people suffered minor injuries after a collision in the Sherwood Street area.

A police spokesperson said: “We are still working alongside Counter-terrorism policing and keeping an open mind on the motives behind these attacks.”

A witness living on Ilkeston Road described hearing “blood-curlding screams” and seeing a man and woman being stabbed by a man dressed in black “with a hood and rucksack grappling with some people”.

He told the BBC: “She was screaming ‘Help!’ I just wish I’d shouted something out of the window to unnerve the assailant.

“I saw him stab the lad first and then the woman. It was repeated stabbing – four or five times. The lad collapsed in the middle of the road.

“The girl stumbled towards a house and didn’t move. The next minute she had disappeared down the side of a house, and that’s where they found her.

“I’d say it all happened within five or six minutes. The attacker then just walked off up Ilkeston Road towards town, as calm as anything.”

The man said he called the police who arrived within five minutes, before paramedics tried to revive the pair for 40 minutes.

Delivery driver Miklos Toldi, 37, said he found the body of Mr Coates on Magdala Road as he headed to work at around 5.30am.

He told The Telegraph: “I saw the body lying in the street. He was lying on his side, his mouth was open and there was no movement.”

On Wednesday, residents at a homeless hostel said a man, understood to be the alleged killer, tried to break into the building on the night of the violent rampage.

CCTV footage shows a man dressed in black trying to clamber into Seely Hirst House in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The man, who has a black rucksack, is seen attempting to climb through a ground-floor front window before walking off after being challenged by a security guard.

A resident who was asleep in the room the man tried to enter was reportedly able to stop him from entering.

The sheltered accommodation facility on Mapperley Road is just around the corner from Magdala Road where the body of Mr Coates was found. It’s believed the suspect stabbed Mr Coates shortly after trying to force his way into the hostel.

Jason Derbyshire, 50, who has lived in the hostel for two weeks, locked himself in his room after seeing a “really calm” man try to break in through his neighbour’s window just after 5.15am when he woke up for work.

He said: “I came back from the sink, I’d had a wash and then he starts walking up, he goes to the window and then tries to smash in through that bay window.

“And then he just came back here and he just walked off as if nothing happened, and then all of a sudden I saw police everywhere. There was armed police outside. Unnerving. It’s crazy really.”

Who were the victims?

Ms Kumar was a rising hockey star, playing for London’s Southgate Hockey team and competing for England at under-18 and under-16 level. She was a medical student at the university.

Mr Webber was described as a popular student and a cricket player who previously attended the elite Taunton School in Somerset. He was studying History.

Mr Coates was described as a keen fisherman who had been due to retire in just a few months.

The fathers of the two students urged thousands of mourners at a university vigil to “look after each other”.

David Webber, Barnaby’s father, addressed the vigil saying: “I’m lost for words.

“I’ve lost my baby boy, and I can’t even comprehend how I am going to deal with it.

“I know Barney would be super touched by everyone here. He loved it here, he couldn’t wait to come back.

“His heart will be with you guys for ever, thank you so much.”

Grace O'Malley Kumar and Barnaby Webber's fathers speak during a vigil at the University of Nottingham after they and Ian Coates were killed and another three hurt in connected attacks on Tuesday morning. Picture date: Wednesday June 14, 2023. PA Photo. Two 19-year-old students Barnaby Webber and Grace O'Malley Kumar and school caretaker Ian Coates were stabbed to death before the attacker allegedly stole the Mr Coates's van and attempted to run over three people in Nottingham. A 31-year-old man was tasered and arrested on suspicion of murder following the deadly rampage and remains in custody. See PA story POLICE Nottingham. Photo credit should read: Jacob King/PA Wire
Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Barnaby Webber’s fathers speak during a vigil at the University of Nottingham (Photo: PA)

Dr Sanjoy Kumar, Grace’s father, thanked the university community for its support: “Such a lovely sign of the university, the bond that you have,” he said.

“Grace was also like Barney, she loved coming up to Nottingham. The love that we have out here, I wish we had it everywhere. Look after each other, that’s the big thing.”

Earlier, Mr Coates’s sons left tributes at the scene of his death. They described Ian as a “die-hard Forest fan”, and a keen fisherman who took young people fishing in an effort to divert them from crime.

Lee Coates told reporters: “If we had to think about it, he’d be lying in a bed with us holding his hand, him dying naturally in 20 to 30 years’ time.”

Mr Coates had been due to retire in four months time and his death had “rocked everyone’s world”, Lee’s brother James added.

“He was everyone’s friend, always willing to help.

“Nobody deserves this but he definitely didn’t. None of them did, it’s a tragedy.”

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