Walsall shoppers and business owners speak of shock after man dies in armed gang attack
Shoppers and business owners have spoken of their shock after a man was fatally injured in an armed gang attack in Walsall town centre.
The victim, in his 20s, was set upon by a group of men believed to be armed with weapons on High Street, near to Asda, just after 1.20am on Saturday.
He was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead just before 3am.
A large part of the town centre was sealed off as police launched a murder investigation.
A forensic tent was set up and floral tributes have been left near to the police cordon.
One read: "RIP Bailey. Taken way too soon. Sleep tight brother x."
Police were also using section 60 powers across Walsall until 7am on Sunday morning to give officers the ability to stop and search people without the need for specific grounds.
These powers were in place in the Bloxwich, Blakenall, Birchills, Leamore and St Matthew's areas of Walsall.
A businesswoman in a nearby shop, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "It's shocking. It was a customer who came in and told me.
"I can't imagine what that man's family is going through.
"Walsall seems to be getting worse and worse. I'm considering whether I need to move location.
"I wish there were more police about. I don't understand why there is a section 60 in place just for today. I think they need the powers to do that a lot more.
"I think society is too worried about offending people and people are getting killed because of it.
"I've heard of stabbings at the bus station. There's a member of staff who has to walk to the bus station after work in the dark. It's terrifying."
A man, who was out shopping in the town centre today and did not want to be named, said: "This type of crime, it's everywhere now.
"You don't feel safe to walk the streets.
"Just before Christmas there was a man on a push bike in the same area, he got out a knife and was threatening to kill someone."
Another shopper, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "It's so sad what has happened.
"I heard it was a young lad and he was on a night out. His poor family."
People have also expressed their shock on social media.
One said: "Why are these people going out carrying weapons they obviously have intent on using.
"Government need to put more money onto policing and get more bobbies back on the beat, cut the paperwork down get more admin and let police be more present in our communities
"Thoughts to the family, another life taken unnecessarily."
Another said: "With the amount of knife crime, section 60 should be continually in place.
"No good searching people after a stabbing has taken place. We need to look at prevention and tougher prison sentences."
Police said they believe it was a "targeted attack" and officers are supporting the victim’s family.
Officers are appealing for anyone with CCTV, dashcam or mobile phone footage showing what happened to get in touch, quoting log 225 of January 28.
Or contact officers via live chat at west-midlands.police.uk, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.