Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham stabbings: Attacker 'knew Big Issue victims'

Wayne Lee Busst (left) and Ian Watson Gladwish (right)
Image caption Wayne Busst and Ian Gladwish were Big Issue sellers

Two Big Issue sellers who were stabbed to death in front of shoppers in Birmingham were probably known to their attacker, police have said.

Wayne Busst, 32, and Ian Gladwish, 31, both from Birmingham, were stabbed in Union Street at about 17:50 GMT on Friday.

Police said they had so far received a "fantastic response" from the public.

Earlier officers were granted more time to question a 23-year-old man who was arrested minutes after the stabbings.

West Midlands Police now has until 21:00 GMT to either charge or release the man, who was arrested near to the Odeon cinema in New Street.

'Utterly senseless'

The force said hundreds of people may have witnessed the stabbings, which happened during rush hour in one of the city's busiest areas.

Det Insp Buck Rogers, who is leading the investigation into the deaths, said early enquiries suggested they had not been "random" attacks.

He added: "The attacker appears to have known his victims."

He urged anyone else with information to contact police.

Big Issue founder and editor-in-chief John Bird has paid tribute to the two vendors and said everyone at the magazine was "absolutely devastated".

He said: "We are struggling to make any sense of this utterly senseless attack and our sincerest condolences go out to the families of the victims."

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