Family and friends pay tribute to 'lovely caring' teenager stabbed to death outside pub
PUBLISHED: 10:22 01 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:43 01 February 2020
Police have launched a murder investigation after a young man died at the scene of a stabbing outside a pub early last night.
Emergency services were called to the scene on Friday January 31 at 8pm to reports that two men had been assaulted outside the Rose and Crown pub in Writtle, near Chelmsford.
Both men were just 19 years old and the victim has been named locally as Liam Taylor.
The surviving victim was taken to hospital for treatment - his injuries were not life changing or life threatening.
Four men have since been arrested on suspicion of murder and have been taken into custody for questioning.
Mr Taylor's family and friends, more than 50 people, gathered this morning to pay tribute to him with flowers and balloons.
Some of the flowers were laid beneath a tree close to the pub and a message read: "RIP Liam, you will always be in our hearts, too young to die."
A minute's silence was led by a local vicar at the gathering after a procession and prayers.
Detective Inspector Greg Wood, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, reassured members of the public saying he knows that people will be concerned.
Mr Wood said: "We are treating it as a targeted attack based on our enquiries so far.
"Officers have been working throughout the night and are continuing today to take witness statements and gather information to help establish the circumstances around this tragic incident."
Connor Wise and Georgie Wicks who live in nearby Great Baddow, said they had received a call from one of their friends last night telling them about Mr Taylor's death.
Friend of four years, Mr Wise, said: "He was a lovely and caring guy, I would hang out with him in town."
Miss Wicks added that she had dated Mr Taylor a couple of years ago saying: "It's so shocking, I used to work with his grandmother at St Peter's Hospital in Maldon."
A resident of the village, from nearby Lodge Road, said she doesn't recall a serious incident ever happening in Writtle.
"I've lived here for 40 years and nothing like this ever happens," she said.
"It's such a quiet place."
There will be increased patrols in the village today and the road leading past the pub was cordoned off this morning whilst police continued with forensic examinations.
Then, shortly before 11am, the cordon was moved to allow traffic through The Green.
Essex Police are urging anyone with any information to contact them quoting incident 1107 of Friday January 31.