THIS is the 23-year-old man stabbed to death in a 90-minute knife rampage in Birmingham that left seven others injured.
Jacob Billington was killed in the early hours of Sunday as the attacker "calmly" skulked around the city and lashed out at victims apparently at random.
Police today revealed he was visiting a friend with school pals from Liverpool when he was set upon by the attacker.
One of his friends, also aged 23, was also injured and is now fighting for life in hospital.
His heartbroken family said in a statement: “Jacob was the light of our life and we have been devastated by his loss.
“He was a funny, caring and wonderful person who was loved by every single person he met.
"He lit up every room with his boundless energy and witty humour and the loss of such a special person will be felt by all who knew him for years to come.
“We ask that our privacy is respected during this difficult time.”
What we know so far:
- A knifeman launched into a frenzied 90-minute attack in Birmingham yesterday morning
- One man, 23, was stabbed to death while seven others were injured in the horror
- A huge manhunt was launched with CCTV released of the killer
- The suspect was eventually arrested at 4am today in Selly Oak
- Horrified witnesses say the man plunged a knife into a man's head 'after confronting him over a girl'
- The knifeman also 'told horrified witnesses "Whatever" when they confronted him over the rampage'
- Police say the victims were picked at random by the killer as he "calmly" walked through the city
- They are facing questions over the length of time it took to arrest the suspect as MPs claim it cost the murder victim 'his life'
- The force has set up a hotline for anyone who has information – 0800 056 0944
A man and a woman, 30 and 22, are fighting for life in hospital after suffering serious stab wounds.
Three men and a woman were also hurt during the rampage.
This morning a 27-year-old man was arrested in a dramatic dawn raid in Selly Oak – around five miles from where the frenzy began.
Police burst into the house screaming "get down, get down" at 4am before dragging the "squirming" suspect out in his pyjamas.
Stunned neighbours told how the quiet cul-de-sac was swamped by police cars as the dramatic dawn raid unfolded.
They reported hearing a "loud bang" before cops holding guns stormed the three-bedroom, end-of-terrace home.
Officers then brought out the suspect, who was arrested suspicion of murder and seven counts of attempted murder, more than 24 hours after the horror in the city centre in the early hours of Sunday morning.
One neighbour told The Sun Online: "I heard a bang at 4am and looked out the window and the whole cul de sac was filled with unmarked police cars.
"There were lots of police officers with guns
"I heard the police shouting 'get down, get down' and telling residents to stay indoors on the megaphone."
Another added: "He was spread out on thew floor with his arms behind his back. It looked like he was wearing pyjama bottoms."
One local also told how the suspect was "terrified" as he was led out in handcuffs during the "dramatic" raid.
They added: "I can’t believe what’s happened. It’s terrifying to think a suspect has been living there. It’s horrific.
“The people that lived there were a nightmare. It was constant loud music through the day."
Police, who were pictured at the home today, confirmed today the suspect remains in custody.
They have faced criticism for taking more than 24 hours to hunt down and arrest the suspect – with one critic claiming it cost the murder victim his life.
Police believe victims were targeted randomly in the frenzy.
Horrified witnesses said the suspect confronted a victim about chatting to a girl – before suddenly plunging a knife into his head.
Others who saw the violence said the man was seen walking the streets and seemed “chilled” – telling one man who confronted him: "Whatever".
Chilling CCTV showed the attacker strolling through Birmingham in a dark hoody as he unleashed the crazed knife attack.
Birmingham Police commander, Chief Superintendent Steve Graham, said: “Officers worked through yesterday and into the early hours of this morning in a bid to trace the man we believe responsible for these terrible crimes.
“We issued CCTV footage of the suspect and had a strong response from the public. I’d like to thank everyone who shared our appeal and who provided information to the investigation.
“One line of enquiry ultimately led us to an address in the Selly Oak area this morning where a man was arrested.
“Clearly this is a crucial development but our investigation continues."
Police are asking for anyone with information to get in touch on a special hotline number, 0800 056 0944.
The horror unfolded at around 12.30am on Sunday morning in Constitution Hill.
A man was knifed before the attacker moved to the Snow Hill area, where he left a 19-year-old boy critically injured and wounded a woman around ten minutes later.
Tragically, a 23-year-old man was killed in Irving Street and another victim suffered serious injuries as the rampage continued an hour later.
At 2am, three people were injured – one seriously – as the knifeman moved through the city centre jabbing at victims at random.
One horrified witness said: “The knifeman was deranged.
"He went up to a man and confronted him about chatting to a girl. The man had not done anything.
“He plunged a knife into his head.
"Then he ran up the road and stabbed a woman.”
Bar owner Savvas Sfrantzis, 64, said he heard screams ringing out as the knifeman attacked victims in the street.
One blood-covered victim yelled "he stabbed me" as he was taken away in an ambulance, Mr Sfrantzis said.
The manager added: “I heard a scream and I saw this guy put something in a woman’s neck.
“I could see a blade. He must have stabbed her seven times in the neck then walked off, smirking, as if proud.
“Officers were there straight away and he must have been 50ft away. But they tended to the girl.”
Mr Sfrantzis said another bar manager confronted the attacker, telling him: "I will remember your face".
But the killer just replied "whatever" before walking off to continue the rampage.
Mr Sfrantzis added: "He never tried to run or hide himself or anything like that. His eyes were on stalks."
COPS SLAMMED FOR 'DELAY'
Questions are now being asked over why the knifeman wasn't stopped during the 90-minute attack.
Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Perry Barr, said: "We've got to look at the fact he had two hours to run around the city centre, which has a huge amount of CCTV cameras in place.
"Where was the monitoring? Both the public and police were put at further risk. There is a person dead. How was this man able to go on a two-hour spate?
"Potentially, had the alarm been set up early enough, the individual who is now deceased could have been saved and it's important we look at that."
While Jay Singh Sohal, the Conservative candidate for West Midlands police and crime commissioner, said: "I find it remarkable the police didn't immediately release the most important thing and give a description for what they are looking for.
"That delay means this guy could be anywhere."
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson told Times Radio there would be an examination of police performance following the stabbings.
Asked whether it seemed extraordinary an attacker could go on a rampage for almost two hours in a major city, he said: "It does, and that is a question I will be asking once a person is in custody, then we need to reflect on the whole incident.
"What we want to know, the police will look at this closely, we want to know that, if something similar happened again, how we avoid it if we can.
"Yes there will be questions asked, there will be, if you like, debriefings on the whole thing and if necessary we will have to look at any different approach we take to policing.
"Everything will be done, there will be a thorough investigation, and we will look for any lessons that need to be learned, we will learn those lessons.
"But as I've seen up to now the police have acted very swiftly and very professionally."
But he defended the delay in issuing CCTV images of the suspect – arguing cops had to "trawl through thousands of hours" of footage.
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