An Oxford teenager is in a critical condition after being stabbed outside Sainsbury’s in Cowley on Monday afternoon.
Police were called to Cowley Road at about 2.50pm where an 18-year-old man had collapsed after being stabbed in James Street. He was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, in a life-threatening condition and is now said to be stable and conscious, according to police. He has not yet been named.
The Oxford Mail reports that shop owners saw a body lying in the road before an ambulance arrived and police blocked off the area.
The two men being questioned by police, aged 28 and 35 were arrested shortly after the incident took place. It is understood that one was arrested on Iffley Road and the other was taken away by police on nearby Hurst Street. Residents reported having seen men running through the back gardens of homes in Regent Street shortly before the arrests were made. The men are due to be bailed, but a date is yet to be set.
Two more men, aged 18 and 19 and both from London, were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of attempted murder. Both are currently in custody.
Superintendent Christian Bunt, LPA Commander for Oxford, said: “Firstly, I would like to reassure the community that we do not believe this was a random attack. It is a credit to our police officers who attended the scene that we made two arrests shortly after we were called to the offence. A thorough investigation is being carried out, and such residents will see an increased police presence in the area in the coming days.”
Police spokesman Gareth Ford-Lloyd told the Oxfordshire Guardian that the investigation was ongoing and the force still wanted witnesses to come forward. He declined to comment on why the incident might have happened, what sort of weapon was used and whether it had been found.
On Wednesday, East Oxford residents spoke to the Oxford Mail of their shock following the incident:
A James Street resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “There has been trouble between gangs around these streets for some time. But you do not expect knife attacks. I have been here for 30 years so this is quite shocking. On the whole it really is a quiet area and people seem to get on.”
Another neighbour, who also wanted to remain anonymous, was not entirely surprised by the stabbing:
“It was quite frightening but that is the underbelly of the Cowley Road. You can always feel it and sense it.”
Anyone with information has been asked to call the Thames Valley Police on 101 and quote reference number 874 (9/5).