Police: assailant stabs 3 to death, steals van and runs down 3 in English city of Nottingham

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LONDON: (Online) A knife-wielding assailant stabbed two college students to death in the streets of the English city of Nottingham and then fatally stabbed a middle-aged man, stole his van and ran down three pedestrians in a shocking early morning rampage Tuesday, police said. One man was hospitalized in critical condition from the hit-and-run. A 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and police said they believe he acted alone. Nottinghamshire Police detectives were working with counterterrorism officers to try to establish a motive.
“This is an horrific and tragic incident which has claimed the lives of three people,” Chief Constable Kate Meynell said.
Two 19-year-old students from the University of Nottingham were among the dead. “We are shocked and devastated by the news,” the school said in an announcement.
A graduation ball that had been scheduled Tuesday evening was canceled.
The attack on the students occurred around dawn when the two were found dead on a road near student housing that’s a short walk from the university’s Jubilee Campus. The man’s body was later found on a different street more than a mile away.
Witnesses described a horrifying scene in the city center about 90 minutes after the initial attack when the van ran into pedestrians at a street corner and then fled.
Lynn Haggitt was on her way to work when a white van pulled up beside her at 5:30 a.m. She saw the driver look in his mirror and spot a police car approaching slowly from behind without its lights on. The driver then accelerated and struck a man and woman at a street corner, she said.
“He went straight into them, he didn’t even bother to turn,” Haggitt told reporters. “The woman went on the curb, the man went up in the air, there was such a bang, I wish I never saw it, it’s really shaken me up.”
The driver then sped through the city center with police on his tail, she added.

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