Jersey stabbings: Minister's 'shock' over six dead

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Media captionDet Supt Stewart Gull, from Jersey Police, gave details of the attack at a news conference

Jersey's Home Affairs Minister has said the island will be in "shock and pain" after the fatal stabbing of six people.

A man, two women and three children died in St Helier, on Sunday afternoon.

A 30-year-old Polish man, named locally as Damian Rzeszowski, was arrested over the deaths. His wife and two children are thought to be among those killed.

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."

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.

Two families

BBC News correspondent Robert Hall said it was believed the man had been arrested on suspicion of the murder of his two children, his wife and father-in-law. The man's wife has been named locally as Izabela Rzeszowski.

The other two killed in the attack are believed to be another woman and her child.

The victims were from two families, one of which the police confirmed was originally from Poland.

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.

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

'Tremendous response'

Home Affairs Minister Senator Ian Le Marquand described the stabbings as one of the worst things to happen in Jersey.

He added: "The whole island will be in shock and in pain as a result of this."

Mr Gull said: "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."

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.

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.

"Inevitably, perhaps, such an incident will raise tensions locally and I would appeal to everyone to remain calm and dignified and allow my officers to continue with what is a complex, demanding and difficult investigation."

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.

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Media captionMonsignor Nicholas France: "One's picked up a great sense of sadness that this could happen to a family"

A large section of the road was cordoned off on Monday morning, including a grassy wooded area in front of the flats.

The scene was guarded by police, including two armed officers, while a forensic team could also be seen searching through undergrowth.

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."

A book of condolence has 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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