Two boys have died after a group of three teenagers were found injured at a block of flats in Essex.
Police have arrested eight people on suspicion of murder following the boys’ deaths in Brentwood in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Officers received a number of calls to Regency Court at about 1.30am.
When police arrived, they found three people injured. Two were pronounced dead at the scene despite the efforts of medics. Their families are currently being supported by specialist officers.
The injuries suffered by the third boy are neither life-threatening nor life-changing, police said.
Police are investigating how the boys died and post-mortem examinations are to be carried out.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Clarkson, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, who led the overnight investigation, said: “This incident has required an immediate and a large-scale response and officers and investigators have worked through the night to piece together what happened in the lead-up to this tragic incident.
“Our investigations will continue throughout today.
“We understand there will naturally be shock and concern within the community after such a tragic loss of life. But, at this stage, we do not believe there is any wider threat to the public.”
He added: “We know there were a number of witnesses to this incident and I would urge anyone who saw anything in Regency Court and the roads around it in central Brentwood between 1am and 2am to come forward and speak to us if you have not already done so.”
One neighbour said they heard shouts and someone "yelling out in pain" from the scene of the alleged double murder.
Mark MacIntosh told the PA news agency he had only just arrived home when he heard shouting and screaming coming from the nearby residence.
"I came home last night, I came in five minutes before I heard the shouts and screams", he said.
"I said 'Should I go down?' as I usually do if I think there's something serious but I couldn't hear.
"And now, as I reflect, I realise that what I heard was somebody yelling out in pain who may have lost his life shortly thereafter."
A group of mourners were allowed through the police cordon to leave flowers outside on Sunday. One teenage girl burst into tears as they approached.
Chief Inspector Mark Barber, of Essex Police, told reporters: "We have arrested eight men on suspicion of murder.
"They all remain in custody at this time.”
He said officers remain open-minded as to what happened, adding that investigations so far suggest it was an isolated incident and there is no wider threat to the Brentwood community.
"We would like to appeal to anyone who was in the Crown Street area of Brentwood between 10pm last night and 5am this morning who witnessed any suspicious behaviour between that time frame," he added.
“I am acutely aware that this incident will shock many within the community. My officers will be there throughout the day – they will be there to reassure you and keep you safe. If you have any concerns or information on the incident then, please, do not hesitate to come forward and speak to them.”
Essex Police have asked anyone who witnessed the incident or who has information on it to call 101 and cite incident 125 of 24 October.
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