Grays launderette death: Police start murder investigation

Southend Road, Grays
Image caption The victim, who has not yet been identified, was found with multiple injuries

A suspected armed robber was killed during a "targeted, aggravated burglary" at a launderette in Essex.

The dead man was found with multiple wounds at Baylee's Laundrette in Grays, at 22:00 GMT on Monday.

A man was arrested at the scene in Southend Road on suspicion of murder. Essex Police say self-defence is a "line of inquiry".

Essex Police said it was keeping an "open mind" about the case and trying to "establish the truth and the facts".

Image caption Police have sealed off a laundrette in Southend Road, Grays, after a man's body was found there on Monday night

Officers say witnesses have told them that up to five armed suspects went into the launderette "and carried out what appears to be a targeted, aggravated burglary".

During this incident, police say, a man was fatally injured and died at the scene.

One witness told the BBC he had seen men going into the property armed with guns and an axe.

Image caption An eyewitness has told the BBC how he heard "screaming" coming from the launderette building

Det Ch Insp Martin Pasmore said: "Early witness accounts suggest that suspects entered the building and carried out an aggravated burglary within the living area [above the laundrette].

"During that incident, one of the suspects was fatally injured. The remaining suspects have then escaped, with a number of weapons left at the scene.

"Self-defence is a line of inquiry in this case. However, it is important that we remain open minded and carry out a thorough investigation to establish the truth and the facts. We will do that as quickly as possible.

"We are also trying trace next of kin, so it would be inappropriate for us to comment further."

The 39-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder is being held for questioning.

Image copyright BBC/VizMaps

One witness who called the police after hearing a commotion at the launderette said: "You could hear screaming from down the road.

"We didn't know at the time what was happening. It's the shock of it, everyone's worried about it, it doesn't happen in this area normally."

Forensics officers are still at the scene.

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