Gloucester hair salon stabbing: Man arrested after 20-year-old Hollie Gazzard killed in Southgate Street hairdressers

Police say horrified customers watched on as Ms Gazzard was attacked at the salon where she worked

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The Independent Online

A 20-year-old hair stylist who was stabbed to death in front of horrified customers at a salon in Gloucester has been named as Hollie Gazzard.

Officers said Ms Gazzard was killed at Fringe Benefits and La Bella Beauty, Southgate Street at around 5.50pm on Tuesday evening,  and that one man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

A spokesperson for Gloucestershire Police said that Ms Gazzard had been in a relationship with her alleged attacker, and appealed for anyone who had witnessed or even filmed the "isolated incident" to take their evidence to the police rather than post it online.

Chief Inspector Neil Smith said it was a "very, very nasty incident" but added: "I would like to reassure members of this community, both residents and local businesses, that this is an isolated incident.

"These offences don't happen in Gloucester regularly. This incident was very tragic, however; both victim and suspect knew each other.

"They were in a previous relationship. That doesn't lessen this horrific incident but it would be good for us to reassure the local community."

Ms Gazzard was treated at the scene and taken by ambulance to the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, but died from her injuries. A police spokesperson said this morning that her next of kin and the coroner had been informed.

Chief Inspector Neil Smith of Gloucestershire Police speaks to media outside Fringe Benefits and La Bella Beauty on Southgate Street, Gloucester (PA)

Officers arrested a 22-year-old man, who remained in custody at Cheltenham police station on Wednesday afternoon, at 2.30am. Mr Smith said that while a murder investigation has been opened into the incident, "these are still very early days".

Ms Gazzard's family today issued a statement through Gloucestershire Police saying that "the brightest star" in their lives had now gone out.

"Hollie is our daughter and was a beautiful, happy and loving girl," the statement said.

"She was full of life and we are very proud of her. She was at the beginning of her life and to have it taken away in this manner is very hard to bear.

Neighbours told the Gloucester Citizen they had heard "screaming and shouting" on Southgate Street at around the time of the stabbing yesterday.

Care worker Alec Rosam, 30, said: "I didn't think much about it at the time... but when I came out of my flat later there were four police cars and an ambulance outside the hairdressers.

"It is scary and quite shocking for this to happen on my own doorstep."

Delroy Ellis, founder of the Gloucester-based Increase the Peace youth mentoring project, said it was the "second brutal knife" incident in the city in less than two months.

Police have appealed for anyone who witnessed the incident or had any information to call 101, quoting incident 340 of 18 February.