Police in Newcastle have launched a murder inquiry after a 27-year-old woman was allegedly attacked and stabbed by up to 11 men after an altercation in the city in broad daylight on Monday (17 October). Local woman Jodie Wilkinson was walking with a friend in Stanhope Street near the Newcastle United ground St James' Park when they became involved in an argument with the men and were both stabbed.
Paramedics attended the scene and the male friend, aged 25 — who has not been identified — was taken to hospital and later released. However Wilkinson died as a result of her injuries. The suspects ran to nearby Queens Court where police made three arrests. Two of those arrested are 25, the other is aged 22.
Northumbria Police believe up to 11 men may have been involved and have appealed for any witnesses to come forward. They are still searching for a weapon believed to have been used in the attack, which took place shortly after schools finished for the day.
Local shop worker Asad Ibrahimi, 23, told the Mail Online: "I was in the shop and a little kid came over and said there were some people arguing at the bus stop. There were people at the top of the street shouting. I went back inside as I was serving a customer. I heard some shouting and I came out and she was on the floor. People were trying to help her."
Central Area Command Chief Superintendent David Felton said: ""We believe that this has been an altercation between a group of people who may have been known to each other and not a random attack. Although the motive behind the attack is still being investigated we believe it potentially could have been some kind of dispute and I want to reassure the community that we do not believe there is any risk to the general public."
Nevertheless CS Felton said that extra officers would patrol the area over the coming days and appealed for anyone who may have witnessed the altercation to come forward. "The incident itself would have looked like a group of people fighting, like an altercation of some kind, and there would have been shouting and fighting."
Anyone with information can ring 101, quoting reference number 702 17/10/16. The charity Crimestoppers is also offering up to £1,000 cash reward for information that leads to the arrest and charge of those responsible. Call anonymously on 0800 555 111.