Detectives investigating the fifth fatal stabbing in Sheffield this year believe they were people in the street at the time of the attack who saw the killer.
Chief Supt Stuart Barton, district commander for Sheffield, appealed for people to come forward with information following the stabbing of Kavan Brissett in Upperthorpe on Tuesday.
Mr Brissett, aged 21, was stabbed during an ‘altercation’ in an alleyway off Langsett Walk, Upperthorpe, at around 6.45pm.
People who were in the street raced to the scene and carried out first aid and he was taken to Northern General Hospital.
Chf Supt Barton said his family made the ‘tough decision that nothing more could be done’ and Mr Brissett died in hospital on Saturday morning.
The officer said: “What happened before 6.45pm we need to work out. We have one of our major investigation teams working on that.
“At around that time there was a lot of other people in the street and we believe there will be people who saw what happened and know the person responsible.
“My plea to them is to provide us with that information. That message goes to anybody who has any information however small or insignificant they think it is, contact us and come forward.”
Four teenagers arrested in connection with the incident have all been released under investigation.
Three boys – a 16-year-old and two aged 17 – were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rob.
An 18-year-old man was questioned on suspicion of attempted murder.
The incident was the fifth fatal knife attack in Sheffield in 2018.
Glenn Boardman, 59, Samuel Baker, 15, Ryan Jowle, 19, Jarvin Blake 22, have also lost their lives after being stabbed in the city since the turn of the year.
Chf Supt Barton said: “I think from what’s been established and from what has been said so far there are more that have seen the incident than have come forward.
“It’s still really early days but what people have to think is that we owe it to Kavan and his family to be able to move this investigation forward.”
Chf Supt Barton said police were trying to piece together where Kavan had been in the hour before he was stabbed.
He added: “We know he was with members of his family and there about an hour’s gap where we need to understand where he had been and what he had been doing - they’re the big questions we need answering.
“There are still big pieces of the jigsaw that are missing.”
Chf Supt Barton said detectives believed the incident was ‘targeted’ but said work was still being done to establish the exact motive.
He added: “It would be wrong for me to speculate at this time as to what the motive was.
“Any piece of information can help us. We have all seen what’s happened recently around Sheffield and I was reading in your very newspaper about the number of stabbings we have had and the unfortunate tragic incidents we’ve had.
“As a service and a force we are very keen to prevent these incidents and I can assure you it’s the focus of a lot of our work.”
The city’s district commander added that police officers were also speaking to neighbours and trawling CCTV footage.
Floral tributes have been left at the scene and even more people passed on their best wishes to his family in posts on Facebook.
A post-mortem examination over the weekend concluded Mr Brissett died from a single stab wound to the chest.
Police said Kavan’s family continue to be supported by specialist officers and have asked for their ‘privacy to be respected at this difficult time’.
Anyone with any information about Kavan’s murder should call the dedicated incident room on 01709 443458.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111, with information quoting incident number 827 of August 14.