Jersey stabbings: Special Polish Mass held

A special Mass has been held for the Polish community after six people were killed in a knife attack in Jersey.

A 30-year-old Polish man, named locally as Damian Rzeszowski, was arrested over the deaths.

His wife Izabela Rzeszowska, two children and father-in-law are thought to be among those killed.

The other two people killed in the attack on Sunday are believed to be another woman and her child who were visiting Mrs Rzeszowska.

Special service

Father Stanislaw Adamiak, who conducted the service at the Catholic Church of Our Lady in St Martin in Polish, said he did not know the family but was aware that some members of the congregation were their friends.

He said: "I told them we are sure of the dignity of every human life.

"No matter if it's English, Polish or Portuguese people, the loss of life is always a great tragedy.

"We pray, as there is nothing else we can do."

He added that Monday was a special day in the Polish calendar and both a religious and civil holiday.

The arrested man, who had emergency surgery following the attack, remains in a stable condition and is under police guard at Jersey's General Hospital.

Eyewitness Bryan Ogesa, 24, said he and two friends used a traffic cone to defend themselves as the man came towards them after the attack in Victoria Crescent.

As Mr Ogesa ran away, he said he saw the body of another man lying in the doorway of the flat with a knife sticking out of his back.

He said he first saw another woman lying on the ground and had gone to help her as he thought she had simply fallen over.

"She was responsive, but just mumbling," he said. "That's when the guy started coming towards us. He was mumbling as well."

Image caption The scene of the killings is likely to be cordoned off for about a week

Another man, who would give only his first name of John, said he had been in his garden nearby and ran to the scene after hearing a woman scream.

"She shouted 'please help me, please God help me'," he said.

Det Supt Stewart Gull, from Jersey Police, said up until now the arrested man had remained heavily sedated and they had not yet been able to question him.

"Jersey is a really safe place, I think the last murder was in 2004. Crime is incredibly low in the island and it is probably one of the safest places in the western world," he said.

In a news conference in St Helier on Monday, Jersey Police said Home Office pathologists had arrived on the island to carry out post-mortem tests, which would take a few days to complete.

Crime scene investigators from Devon and Cornwall Police were on their way to Jersey to help support the investigation.

'Exceptionally rare'

The police said they have had a "tremendous response" from people in the island.

Police Chief Officer Mike Bowron said: "Jersey is an incredibly safe place, and incidents of this nature are exceptionally rare.

"It makes such a tragedy even more difficult for people to come to terms with, and no-one could fail to be affected by the events that unfolded here yesterday."

Officers were called to a flat in Upper Midvale Road at 15:00 BST on Sunday after reports of an incident at a flat in Victoria Crescent, which had spilled outside on to the street.

The Chief Minister Senator Terry Le Sueur said it was important justice was done.

He said he would leave it up to the police to see what resources they need.

"Money is not the issue, the issue is making sure the matter is resolved in a professional and thorough way."

More than 6,000 people have joined a tribute page on Facebook to the victims of the attack.

A book of condolence has also been opened at Jersey's Town Hall.

The Constable of St Helier, Simon Crowcroft, said it would take a long time for the community to come to terms with the attack.

The head of Jersey's Roman Catholic Church Monsignor Nicholas France said the attacks were deeply distressing.

He said: "One has picked up a great sense of sadness that this could happen to a family."

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