A man was being questioned on Wednesday for murder by British police, who were trying to find the motive for a van and knife attack in Nottingham, a central English city, that killed three people and left another critically injured.
Police found two 19-year-old university students, a man and a woman, dead on a street in the city center with stab wounds after being alerted around 4 a.m. (0300 GMT) on Tuesday.
A school caretaker in his 50s or 60s was also found dead with knife wounds on a road about two miles away. A van, stolen from the caretaker, was then used to hit three people, critically injuring one man in hospital.
Police stopped the vehicle and arrested a 31-year-old man with a stun gun, and say they are not searching for any other suspects. Counter-terrorism officers are helping with the investigation, but Nottinghamshire Police’s Chief Constable Kate Meynell said they were open to any motive. “This does not mean that it is currently being treated as a terrorist attack,” Home Secretary Suella Braverman told parliament.
The BBC reported that the suspect was thought to be a migrant from West Africa with mental health problems. The city, especially the student community, was shocked by the incident, with Nottingham having two universities with more than 50,000 students.
The University of Nottingham students were attacked as they went home from a party after exams, the Times reported. One of the teenage victims, Grace Kumar, had played hockey for England’s Under 18 team, and the other, Barnaby Webber, was a keen cricket player.
Webber’s parents said their son was “a beautiful, brilliant, bright young man, with everything in life to look forward to.” “Our pain and loss at the senseless murder of our son cannot be described by complete devastation,” they said in a statement released to the media.
The last victim was Ian Coates, a school site manager. “Ian was a much-loved colleague who always went the extra mile for the benefit of our children and will be greatly missed,” said Ross Middleton, the Executive Headteacher of Huntingdon Academy and Warren Academy.