Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham stabbing: Man held over Christina Edkins attack

Christina Edkins
Image caption Christina was described as a "bright and popular student" by her head teacher

A man has been arrested after a 16-year-old girl was stabbed to death on a rush-hour bus on one of Birmingham's busiest roads.

Christina Edkins was attacked on board the bus on Hagley Road while on her way to Leasowes High School in Halesowen.

Her head teacher Neil Shaw described her as a "bright and popular student" who was "much loved by staff and students".

A 22-year-old man was arrested nearby on suspicion of murder.

West Midlands Police said officers had spotted a man acting suspiciously who fitted the description of the suspect and was arrested after a short chase.

'Support pupils'

Det Supt Richard Baker said the teenager's family were "distressed and distraught".

Police officers stood guard at the family's home near Birmingham city centre for much of the day, while specialist officers sought to comfort relatives.

Counsellors were also being brought in to support pupils and staff at Leasowes High School. The BBC's James Bovill said some were in tears as they left the school.

Mr Shaw said: "We are deeply saddened to hear this tragic news and our thoughts and hearts go out to her family and everyone who knew her."

Image caption The bus was taken away from the scene, near the Five Ways junction of the Hagley Road

Police said they would be checking Christina's profiles on social media websites as part of the investigation, but there was nothing to suggest she was being targeted.

Christina is understood to have boarded the bus minutes before the attack, which happened at about 07:40 GMT on Thursday.

The driver raised the alarm and attempts were made to revive the teenager, but she died at the scene.

Police said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the stabbing. They added that there was nothing at this stage to suggest the attacker and Christina were known to each other.

The 22-year-old suspect was arrested near the Morrisons supermarket at Five Ways at about 12:30 GMT, following a city-wide manhunt.

Another man who was earlier detained in the city centre by police has since been released.

Det Supt Baker said officers were now analysing hours of CCTV footage, including some from on the bus.

He said he believed there were some passengers on board at the time of the attack who had not yet come forward.

'Tragic incident'

Officers patrolled buses and schools across the city on Thursday afternoon to help reassure people.

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Media captionWest Midlands Police gave an update on the arrest

Detectives said the murder investigation was still in its "very early stages" and they did not want to speculate on the motive.

The bus was earlier removed from the scene and the road reopened.

A spokesman from National Express West Midlands said: "We can confirm that a tragic incident took place on a number 9 service this morning.

"Our thoughts and condolences are with the family of the person involved and we will offer all possible support to the police in their investigation into the matter."

Anyone with information can call police on 0800 096 0095.

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