Police release all 39 people arrested at a house party after a man was stabbed ‘near the heart’

Police have today released 39 young men and women arrested after a man was chased and stabbed inches from his heart over a ‘minor argument’ in a convenience store.

The victim, who is in his mid-30s, is currently fighting for his life after a knife attack in Hammersmith in west London at about 1am yesterday morning.

The suspects, who dumped two knives, then fled into a nearby house party where 39 people inside were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and taken to several different police stations across the city. 

Today Scotland Yard said 20 young men and 15 young women, all aged between 16 and 22, were released under investigation.

Two 18-year-old men and two boys aged 16 and 17 were released on bail. 

Superintendent Mark Lawrence, said: ‘What appears to have been a minor argument has resulted in a man sustaining life-threatening injuries.

‘He has been taken to hospital where he continues to receive treatment for his injuries.

‘Whilst it is unusual for so many people to be arrested in the early stages of an investigation such as this, due to a lack of co-operation and the necessity of securing essential evidence following a serious assault, this action was appropriate.’ 

It is believed that the stabbed man had got into an altercation with several people at a nearby shop before being chased.

The teenagers shouted ‘Get him! Get him!’ as a member of their group challenged the victim with a knife while a girl pleaded for him to stop, eyewitnesses claimed.

They said blood squirted from the victim’s chest when he was knifed just before 1am outside a Sainsbury’s store in Hammersmith, west London.

Eyewitnesses claimed the victim was a white man who was chased across the road by a gang of black ‘school kids’ following an argument at a newsagents.

The teenagers shouted ‘Get him! Get him!’ as a member of their group challenged the victim with a knife while a girl pleaded for him to stop, eyewitnesses claimed.

They said blood squirted from the victim’s chest when he was knifed just before 1am outside a Sainsbury’s store in Hammersmith, west London.

One eyewitness, who lives on the same street as where the man was stabbed, said: ‘I was crying – I thought ‘what if that was my boyfriend or brother?’

‘I heard a lot of commotion, like kids entertaining themselves in the street.

‘I had a feeling something wasn’t right, and then the kids kept running backwards and forwards screaming ‘Get him! Get him!’

‘Then I saw a knife there – it was shining – and somebody was going to get hurt. The person that did the stabbing – I heard him say ‘Come on then!’

‘I could hear others saying ‘Leave them! Leave them!’ and ‘F*ck him!’ and a girl’s voice say ‘No, don’t’. Whoever that girl was, was probably the only one with sense. 

‘That man, whoever he was, was on his own, maybe waiting for a bus.

‘They stabbed him next to his heart so the intention is to kill him. I don’t know how somebody can put a knife into another person.’

She said the group, believed to be aged 16 to 20, ran into a nearby house where a party was said to be taking place.

Residents told how they heard music coming from the address and saw a person look out the window as the group ran through the brown door and upstairs to the flat.

The woman added: ‘When I arrived home, I heard music and it sounded like people were having fun.

‘I saw them running into the house and anybody in that house has a part to play in what happened; you are guilty by association.’

A woman told how she warned police during a 999 call that a man was ‘about to be stabbed’ moments before she watched him get knifed in the street.

She said she sobbed when she saw the victim laying ‘naked’ on the pavement with medical tubes in his arms as paramedics battled to save his life.

The knife thugs then ran in to a house where a party was taking place, before police arrived and arrested all 39 people in the property on suspicion of attempted murder.

The woman said: ‘I said to the 999 woman ‘they are going to stab someone, they have got a knife’. In that moment, somebody got stabbed.

‘They all rushed into that house – there were more than 30 school kids and their voices were so young.

‘I put my clothes on and when I got to the corner, I saw a guy on the floor and he had been stabbed right in the centre of his chest.’ 

Police say 39 people at the flat were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after they failed to cooperate with officers when questioned. 

The victim remains in hospital in a critical condition with multiple stab wounds.

The local resident added: ‘There was no way the man was part of the same group. He was of a different age bracket and there is no way he kept that kind of company.

‘He was a white man in his thirties and he had a tattoo on his left arm.’

Forensics officers arrived at the scene earlier, and officers in blue body suits entered the period terraced house which is surrounded by police tape. 

A tattoo parlour, a pub and a Sainsbury’s supermarket are all within the cordon, while a Conservative Association office is nearby. 

A neighbour, Mason El Hage, 22, said he saw around 50 police officers interrogate around 30 to 40 young men and women as they were lined up on the road.

‘I have never seen something like that in my life. It was very extreme in terms of the amount of people involved,’ he said.

The graphic designer said he heard noise and dogs barking at around 1.30am and looked outside believing it was a drugs raid.

‘After that, three riot vans rocked up and about 50 police officers marched down the road, went into the house next door and brought around 30 to 40 people outside,’ he said. 

‘They lined them up and interrogated them for about an hour.’

Mr El Hage said the group, including young men and women were arrested in ‘single file’ in a ‘very, very swift operation’.

Neighbours of the flat in Greyhound Road, where the arrests are believed to have been made, said a group of people outside at about 11pm on Sunday, while others could be seen in a first floor window.

One woman said they were in their late teens or early 20s and the atmosphere appeared to be ‘quite relaxed and chilled’.

‘We just heard normal talking. It sounded like squealing girls like you get on a night out,’ she said.

Her friend, who is visiting London for New Year’s Eve, saw police in the street after the stabbing.

‘It was a bit mad,’ he said. ‘I woke up about 3am and there was about 25 police officers down here and about 30 or so people; some handcuffed, some weren’t handcuffed.

‘More people came out of there [the flat] and more police went in there. At about 5am, the forensics turned up.’

Metropolitan Police confirmed that two knives had been recovered at the scene of the attack. 

The London Ambulance Service treated the man at the scene before he was transferred to a nearby hospital, where he is now in a stable but critical condition.  

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