A 15-year-old boy was stabbed more than 20 times in what one witness described as an “animalistic” attack.
The teenager was attacked at around 2.10am in Preston Gardens, Luton, on Tuesday, and is now in hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Speaking after the attack, neighbours told of hearing a commotion in the early hours of the morning where the incident happened.
One unnamed man, who lives nearby, said he heard noises at around 1.45am outside his house.
He said: “All I can recall is hearing a lot of running going in whichever direction, and car doors being slammed. Then shouts of ‘run, run, run’ from a male voice.
“I couldn’t say how many people were there. It was hard to see.
“Then around 15 minutes later, we hear ambulance and police everywhere.”
The man added that he had to take the day off work so police could investigate his garden.
He said: “It’s been stressful, to be honest – knowing it was outside our house.
“I hope whoever it was is okay.”
A woman, who also wanted to remain anonymous, said she was woken up in the middle of the night by “shouting and screaming”.
“It was animalistic. I heard shouting, screaming, a lady’s voice in distress,” she said.
“But I couldn’t see anything.”
“I tried to go back to sleep, but within 10 minutes I heard shouting again and saw flashing lights.”
Preston Gardens has been cordoned off all day, with residents living nearby having to sign in with an officer to walk through the cordon to access their houses and/or vehicles.
Police are still combing the area for any evidence, which appeared to include rummaging through bins and scraping through grass with sticks.
According to the Office of National Statistics, knife crime has surged in recent years – with record levels of knife crime in England and Wales this year.
In 2018, police recorded 40,829 offices involving knives or sharp instruments – which represented a 6% rise from the previous year.
Detective Inspector Jerry Waite, from Bedfordshire Police, said: “The victim received more than 20 stab wounds in this shocking incident and is now fighting for his life.
“It’s absolutely vital that anyone who has any information about this incident, no matter how minor it may seem, gets in touch with us.
“You could help us find the person, or people, responsible for this horrific attack.
“We have more than 30 officers working hard to establish the circumstances which led to the stabbing, but we need the public’s help too.
“We will also have community police officers out in the area today on patrol, so if you have any concerns please do speak to them.”
A Bedfordshire Police spokeswoman said at around 5pm on Tuesday that the teenager was still in hospital in a critical condition.