Teenage boy critically ill after hammer attack outside Wulfrun Centre
A manhunt is under way after a schoolboy struck with a hammer in a horrific attack was left fighting for their life.
Police say the teenager was in a critical condition today after the violence flared outside Wolverhampton's Wulfrun Centre.
People spoke of their shock at the attack which happened yesterday in broad daylight in front of stunned shoppers during the Easter school holiday.
A police cordon and tent were in place in Wulfrun Square outside Co-Operative Travel and opposite Primark today.
WATCH: Police probe hammer attack
UPDATE: Police investigation latest
Police remained at the scene with a forensics tent erected outside the busy shopping centre.
The entrance to the centre remained closed off Wulfrun Square today as the investigation continued.
Primark's entrance onto Wulfrun Square was also shut although people could still get access through the Wulfrun Centre itself.
A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said the boy remains in a critical condition.
They added: "Investigations remain ongoing and we urge anyone with information to contact us."
People can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, quoting log number 1734 of 15/04.
Where did the attack happen?
A 16-year-old was left with life-threatening injuries after being attacked with the weapon close to Primark.
The boy was taken to hospital following the assault, which took place in Wulfrun Square, at 4.30pm.
Dudley Street was cordoned off as a police investigation was launched.
Interactive map of the scene
Shoppers' shock at city centre violence
People condemned the attack online as more details emerged about the violence in the busy city centre.
One worker said: "I was working within that centre until 2.30pm. Scary."
Another added: "So young. Hope he pulls through. Why can't kids just be kids. Rather than things like this its getting so bad."
One person said: "I walked past with my two kids. It was scary seeing someone with a lot of blood around his head. It was dreadful."
Shopper Kathleen Witton, 62, from Upper Gornal, said: "It's getting worse, isn't it?
"There's knife crime as well – why can't anybody walk around without fear of being attacked?
"I look at when my boys were young and you used to be able to let them out.
"Now I would never let anyone go out alone.
"There doesn't seem to be an end for it.
"I saw a police tent and thought something had happened.
"We hadn't heard anything before that.
"It's just so sad to think your child goes out and they don't come back."
Dave Mills, manager at Timpson in Dudley Street, said: "I would like to think it was a one-off incident. I've been here 10 years and nothing like this has ever happened.
"It's scary that people would want to do that kind of thing.
"He was on the ground and I saw people rally round him and heard a commotion.
"I saw what most people saw – police and the ambulance came and guards from the different shops came out to help.
"It's not very nice."
Parmjit Singh, who is the manager of a nearby burger stand, said: "I didn't see him being hit, but I saw him being treated.
"It didn't look good. I was standing by Primark and the ambulance came very fast.
"There was four or five people helping him out.
"You have to give credit to the ambulance guys who treat people."
The 57-year-old, from Chapel Ash in the city, added: "I would've stopped the guy if I would've seen him be attacked, but I went to wash my hands at the time.
"A lot of people would've helped him.
"They were trying to lift him up and put padding around his neck."
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