Nottingham attacks: Suella Braverman urges people not to speculate
Her appeal came after claims online and on some television channels about the identity of the 31-year-old man arrested following the attacks
Home Secretary Suella Braverman speaks during a Ministerial Statement about a major incident in Nottingham city centre, at the House of Commons in London, Britain, June 14, 2023. UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/
UK home secretary Suella Braverman urged people not to speculate after three people were stabbed to death and three others hit by a van in Nottingham, central England.
Her appeal came after claims online and on some television channels about the identity of the 31-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder on Tuesday (13).
“It’s completely natural to seek answers immediately when something terrible happens but it’s also vital that those answers are wholly accurate,” Braverman told MPs.
“Speculating out loud is never helpful and runs the risk of being counterproductive,” she added. “The police have asked for patience while the inquiries continue.”
Police have not released his name or publicly commented on his background.
Braverman confirmed that anti-terrorism police were helping Nottinghamshire police in the inquiry, “though this does not mean that it is currently being treated as a terrorist attack”.
Two students aged 19 and a 65-year-old man were stabbed to death. Police believe a van stolen from the older victim was then used to try to mow down three other people.
Police formally released the identities of the victims as Nottingham University students Barnaby Webber and Grace Kumar, and school caretaker Ian Coates.
The family of Webber, a history student from Somerset, southwest England, said he was a “beautiful, brilliant, bright young man”.
“Complete devastation is not enough to describe our pain,” the family said in a statement issued by police.
“He was a talented and passionate cricketer. At 19 he was just at the start of his journey into adulthood and was developing into a wonderful young man,” they added.
Medical student Kumar, a member of the England Under-16 and Under-18 hockey squads, was described by her family as “an adored daughter and sister.
“We were so incredibly proud of Grace’s achievements and what a truly lovely person she was. She leaves behind devastated extended family and friends,” they said.
The events early on Tuesday morning prompted police to cordon off Nottingham city centre, with a heavy police presence, including armed officers.
Prime minister Rishi Sunak thanked emergency services who had dealt with the “shocking incident” in the city, which is home to more than 320,000 people.
Police were called just after 4:00 am (0300 GMT) after the two students were found in Ilkeston Road, which runs west out of the city centre between Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University.
Residents reported hearing screams and seeing the students being stabbed, before the attacker — said by one witness to be dressed in black with a hood and rucksack — walked off calmly.
Coates was then found stabbed on Magdala Road, about two miles (3.2 kilometres) away, police said.
The three people hit by the van, in Milton Street, in the city centre, were being treated in hospital, the force added.
One was in a critical condition while the others had minor injuries, it added.