A factory worker described as a “lovely chap” was killed and another man seriously injured after they were stabbed outside a pharmaceutical plant.
The 53-year-old, named locally as Robert Wilson, suffered fatal injuries when he was stabbed during a confrontation in the ground of the Thornton & Ross (T&R) works in the Linthwaite area of Huddersfield.
West Yorkshire Police said he was attacked by “several persons” during the incident, which happened on Thursday evening.
A 39-year-old man who suffered a serious injury in the same incident is believed to have tried to help the man who died.
Five people – two 18-year-old men, a 17-year-old boy, a 15-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl – have been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder in connection with the incident, police said.
Mr Wilson, who is understood to be a father-of-one, was described by a member of staff at Thornton & Ross as “a lovely chap”, adding: “We are all gutted”.
Tributes have been paid by local MPs. Jason McCartney, MP for Colne Valley, said on Twitter: “I’ve been briefed by the police on the horrific incident in Linthwaite last night – 5 arrests have been made as part of the murder investigation – my thoughts are with the family, friends & colleagues of the victim.”
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman said: “I am deeply saddened to hear about the tragic murder in Linthwaite last night.
“My thoughts are with all those effected.”
I’ve been briefed by the police on the horrific incident in #Linthwaite last night - 5 arrests have been made as part of the murder investigation - my thoughts are with the family, friends & colleagues of the victim https://t.co/wDWuFEcrfb
— Jason McCartney MP (@JasonMcCartney) January 17, 2020
A police spokesman said: “Police are appealing for witnesses following the launch of a murder investigation after two men were attacked in Huddersfield.
“The Homicide and Major Enquiry Team are appealing for witnesses to the incident, which took place at about 11.45pm on Thursday January 16 outside a business on Manchester Road in Linthwaite.
“Officers were called to the location to a report that two men had been attacked outside the premises by several persons.”
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Ridley said: “This has clearly been an extremely serious incident and the investigation is in its early stages to determine exactly what has taken place.
“We have arrested five people in connection with the attacks on both men and they remain in custody for questioning.
“I wish to thank witnesses who have come forward so far and I would appeal to anyone who has information or footage showing the incident or persons behaving suspiciously on the road just prior to it taking place to contact us.”
I am deeply saddened to hear about the tragic murder in Linthwaite last night. My thoughts are with all those effected.
— Barry Sheerman MP (@BarrySheerman) January 17, 2020
He said increased patrols were being conducted in the area and reassured locals that a “full range of resources” was being used to investigate.
In a statement T&R, which manufactures a range of branded over-the-counter medicines, dermatological solutions and other healthcare and hygiene products, said: “Thornton & Ross is shocked and saddened by the events that occurred within our grounds late last night.
“Our immediate thoughts are with the families and colleagues affected by this tragic incident.
“T&R is working to support West Yorkshire police as they conduct the murder Investigation to ascertain the full circumstances of the incident.”