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Indian-origin teen among 3 killed in UK’s Nottingham knife attacks

Grace O’Malley Kumar, 19, was with fellow University of Nottingham student cricketer friend – Barnaby Webber, also 19 – when the as-yet unnamed attacker is said to have fatally stabbed the duo

Reported By: PTI Nottingham Published on: June 15, 2023 11:04 IST
Police forensics officers erect a forensic tent on Magdala
Image Source : AP Police forensics officers erect a forensic tent on Magdala road, Nottingham after three people were killed in Nottingham city centre

An Indian-origin teenage medical student described as a talented hockey and cricket player was named on Wednesday as one of three victims of a frenzied series of knife attacks on the streets of Nottingham in central England that has shocked the country.

Grace O’Malley Kumar, 19, was with fellow University of Nottingham student cricketer friend – Barnaby Webber, also 19 – when the as-yet unnamed attacker is said to have fatally stabbed the duo in the early hours of Tuesday.

Nottinghamshire Police said the 31-year-old suspect, who remains in custody, then went on to stab a man in his 60s to death and also attempted to run over three people – still in hospital – with a van stolen from that man.

“I know the whole house will want to thank the emergency services for their ongoing response to the shocking incident in Nottingham yesterday. Our thoughts are with those injured and with the families of those who lost their lives,” said British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the start of the House of Commons session on Wednesday.

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman later made a statement to update Parliament on the “horrific events” and confirmed that it is not being treated as a terrorist attack at this stage.

“I can tell the House that the police are working flat out to establish the full facts and provide support to everyone affected. They are currently keeping an open mind as to the motives behind these attacks but I can confirm Nottinghamshire police are being assisted in their inquiries by counter terror police. Though, this does not mean that it is currently being treated as a terrorist attack,” said Braverman.

Tracing some of the details, the minister said a knife was used in the attacks, two of the victims were students at Nottingham University and the third victim – a local school caretaker Ian Coates in his 60s – was the owner of the van that police believe the suspect stole and was used to run down three pedestrians who remain in hospital.India Tv -  man lights a candle in St Peter's church, after three people were killed and three hurt in connected attacks

Image Source : AP man lights a candle in St Peter's church, after three people were killed and three hurt in connected attacks

“We are keeping an ‘open mind’ and are working alongside Counter Terrorism Policing to establish the facts – as we would normally do in these types of circumstances,” Kate Meynell, Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, said in a statement.

“A dedicated team of detectives is investigating the circumstances surrounding these incidents and will continue to gather evidence over the coming days,” she said.

While the victims are yet to be formally named by the police, local media reports from Nottingham have thrown light on some information around Grace Kumar as the daughter of London-based doctor of Indian-origin, Dr Sanjoy Kumar.

He is being dubbed a “hero” doctor who had saved the lives of some teenage stab victims in his local surgery back in 2009.

Tributes have been pouring in for Grace, who was studying to become a doctor like him and played for the England under-18s hockey team and was also a talented cricketer.

“Grace was an adored daughter and sister; she was a truly wonderful and beautiful young lady,” Kumar’s family said in a statement.

“Grace was not just a sister to James but his best friend. He is completely heartbroken. As parents, words cannot explain our complete and utter devastation. She will be so dearly missed. We were so incredibly proud of Grace’s achievements and what a truly lovely person she was. She was resilient and wise beyond her years,” they said.

They said Grace was full of life. “Grace was so happy in life fulfilling her ambition of studying to become a doctor whilst playing topflight hockey at university. She leaves behind devastated extended family and friends,” they added.

England Hockey, the sport's governing body, also paid tributes to her. "We are all deeply saddened by the news of the tragic death of Grace Kumar in Nottingham on Tuesday," England Hockey said in its tribute. Woodford Wells Cricket Club in Essex described Grace Kumar as a "fiercely competitive, talented and dedicated cricketer".

Earlier, the University of Nottingham confirmed the “sudden and unexpected death” of two of its students.

“All of us at Nottingham are deeply shocked and saddened by the deaths of two of our students following a major incident in Nottingham city centre. I know our entire university community will join me in offering our deepest condolences to their family and close friends, as well as the other victims of the incident. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this incredibly difficult time,” said Vice-Chancellor Shearer West.

“The university is supporting the students’ family and friends, as well as staff and students. Our security team is working closely with Nottinghamshire Police and the authorities to support the ongoing investigation into the incident,” she said.

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