The family of a 23-year-old Sheffield man stabbed to death said today: “We cannot believe the pain and heartache that evil has brought to our family.”
Joe Walker, a former pupil at City School who lived on Hollybank Close, Intake, suffered fatal injuries in an ‘altercation’ on a patch of land off Raynald Road, Manor, around 5am on Saturday.
Joe’s parents said today: “As Joe’s parents and family, we cannot believe the pain and heartache that evil has brought to our family.
“Those who knew and loved Joe would say that he was a cheerful lad who would put a smile on anyone’s face who met him.
“Can we ask as a family that if there is anyone who witnessed what happened to Joe, that you show him your respect by giving any information at all to South Yorkshire Police.
“Please, if you know anything that would assist the police get in touch with them, as this is not the time to hold back. Our family ask that we be left to grieve and try to come to terms with our loss.”
Temporary Detective Superintendent Phil Etheridge said: “Enquiries are continuing in the local area and we asked anyone who has information to contact police immediately. I echo the appeal from the family, as you may think a piece of information is irrelevant, but it may be vital to our inquiry.”
Friends and neighbours of Joe said he was a ‘likeable lad’ who ‘never did anything wrong to anyone’.
Residents living near the murder scene said they heard the sounds of a noisy party before the killing, as well as loud screaming
Pal Danny Coleman, 23, said the former City School pupil ‘always made people smile’, adding: “He was the best lad you could meet, he worked on building sites and I remember playing football with him when we were younger.
Danny Coleman, of Manor Park, added: “It’s horrible, there’s no need for it,” said Danny.
“All I’ve heard is that some trouble kicked off, but Joe wasn’t the type of lad that would cause trouble with anyone. I cannot believe it.”
Raynald Road and nearby Waltheof Road were yesterday cordoned off with police standing guard while forensics officers in white protective suits combed the scene for evidence.
One resident living near the murder scene, who did not want to be named, said she could hear the noise of a rowdy party coming from flats across the road, starting at 8.30pm on Friday.
“It sounded like they were having a party,” said the mum, 35. “There were about 20 people there. At about 5am I heard really loud screaming coming from the field. Then in the morning I saw the police.
“I’d normally consider this quite a good area – it’s frightening, especially if you’ve got children.”
A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Police confirmed Joe died from a ‘single stab wound injury’, following an altercation at around 5am on Saturday.
Anyone with information should call 101, quoting incident number 263 of September 21, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.