Nationwide manhunt for student ‘influencer’ accused of stabbing woman to death in Bradford

An urgent national manhunt is ongoing for her suspected killer, Habibur Masum

Holly Evans
Monday 08 April 2024 14:08 BST
Officers are appealing for members of the public to report any sightings of Habibur Masum
Officers are appealing for members of the public to report any sightings of Habibur Masum (West Yorkshire Police)

A nationwide manhunt has been launched for a student suspected of stabbing a mother to death while she was pushing her baby in a pram in Bradford.

The 27-year-old woman, who is yet to be named by police, was repeatedly stabbed in a horror daylight attack on Saturday and died a short while later in hospital. The woman’s baby, said to be a boy aged around five months, was unharmed.

West Yorkshire Police have launched a UK-wide search and released an image of the suspect, who they identified as 25-year-old Habibur Masum. The public have been warned not to approach him.

According to social media sites believed to belong to Masum, he was studying for a masters in digital marketing at the University of Bedfordshire and is understood to have entered the UK on a student visa from Bangladesh.

Youtube videos connected to the Facebook profile include one of him setting up a child’s cot, as well as a video of him shopping in Primark. There is also a recent vlog of his trip to Barcelona.

The mother was stabbed several times in the neck in Bradford shopping centre (West Yorkshire Police/PA Wire)

It comes after a shopkeeper spoke out about the moment that passers-by attempted to save the woman’s life during the daylight attack. Speaking to The Sun, greengrocer Geo Khan, 69, recalled hearing blood-curdling screams on Drewton Road, in the Westgate area of the city, just before 3.30pm.

“I was working on Saturday and I heard screams and ran out of my shop,” he said.

“I saw that lady was lying face down on the pavement next to a pushchair with her five-month old baby boy inside.

“I turned her over. There was a lot of blood and I checked for a pulse, but couldn’t find one.”

He claimed the woman’s neck was covered in knife wounds and that he attempted to carry out CPR while her friend ran into a nearby food store and was “screaming”.

Shopkeeper Geo Khan went to the aid of the young woman after she’d been stabbed (Dave Higgens/PA Wire)

“A doctor was passing in a car and stopped to help. He picked up a pulse and I got a sheet to put over her until the ambulance came,” he added.

Other locals recalled seeing the pram with a baby inside, while police officers swarmed the area and launched a manhunt to detain her suspected killer. A knife was also recovered from the scene, with officers stating that the victim and her alleged attacker had been known to one another.

Masum is described as an Asian man, of slim build.

He was pictured on CCTV wearing a duffle coat with three large horizontal lines of grey, white and black, light blue or grey tracksuit bottoms with a small black emblem on the left pocket and maroon trainers. A witness also reported seeing him wearing a grey hoodie with the hood up.

He is believed to have links to the Burnley and Chester areas. Police say he was known to the suspect and it was not a random attack.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Monday, West Yorkshire’s deputy mayor for policing and crime Alison Lowe said: “Habibur Masum is still at large.

“There is a very complex investigation currently ongoing with all forces in the country trying to locate the suspect.

She was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead (Google)

“We don’t think this was a random killing, the police know the two people were known to each other.”

Detective chief inspector Stacey Atkinson, of West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and enquiry team, said: “We have had significant resources following up a number of lines of enquiry to locate Habibur Masum but at this time his whereabouts are unknown.

“A knife was recovered from the scene of the murder, but we cannot say if Habibur Masum is armed, and I would urge anyone who does see him not to approach him but to call 999 immediately.

“If anyone has any information about his movements or whereabouts since 3.20pm on Saturday please contact police as a matter of urgency.

“We understand that the murder of a young woman in such shocking circumstances has caused considerable concern in the local community. Residents can expect to continue to see a significant police presence in Bradford as we make further enquiries and conduct reassurance patrols in the area.”

Any current sightings of Masum should be reported to West Yorkshire Police via 999. Any other information that could assist the investigation should be reported via Live Chat online or by calling 101, quoting log 1071 of April 6.

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