A young man was fighting for his life today after being stabbed in the heart outside a pub.
Two people have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following the attack in the car park of The Earl of Dudley Arms in the early hours of Sunday.
The victim, a 21-year-old man from Dudley, underwent life-saving surgery after being taken to Russell's Hall Hospital by two friends at around 4am.
He is understood to have been found on a bench in the pub car park in Wellington Road.
Police say they are treating the incident as a fight that ‘got out of hand', rather than as a random attack.
The men arrested in connection with the stabbing are a 21-year-old from Hill Top in West Bromwich and a 23-year-old from Brierley Hill. They have been bailed pending further inquiries.
Det Insp Warren Hines, from Force CID, appealed for witnesses to come forward.
He said: "A young man is in very serious condition in hospital. He has undergone surgery for multiple wounds including one to his heart.
"I need to understand what happened this morning and speak to anyone who may be able to help.
"At this stage, we're working on the theory that this was a fight which got out of hand as opposed to a random attack on a stranger.
"If this is the case, it is vitally important that the other person or people involved call me immediately so that they can put their side of the story to me.
“If they don't come forward now, they can expect a visit from my team to their home or workplace in the very near future."
The car park and the pub remained sealed off yesterday (SUN) as police continued to search for clues.
Officers have spoken to a number of people and have been conducting house-to-house inquiries.
They are also scouring CCTV footage that may have captured the attack on camera.
Residents living near to the pub spoke of their shock.
One woman, who wished to remain unnamed, said yesterday: “I saw the police there at about 11am.
“I spoke with my neighbours and they said it was a big argument in the par park at about 5am.
“A lot of people were there apparently, although I didn't hear anything myself.
“I was wondering what had happened because I’ve lived here about four or five years and it’s the first time I’ve seen anything like that.”
However, another resident said there was often trouble in the area.
He claimed: “It’s a regular thing. We have had gun shots and stabbings.”
A member of staff at nearby furniture store United Carpets and Beds agreed, adding: “I’m pleased to see the police there.”
Anyone who was at the pub on Sunday night and has not yet spoken to police should call Det Insp Hines on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.