“At least five people have died and another is in a critical condition after a knife attack.”
Local news report
Once all the casualties are cleared from the scene, the police investigation takes precedence. Their first priority is to preserve the scene and the evidence. The first moments are always the most vital.
“It’s often referred to as the golden hour in police speak...You only get one chance at a crime scene.”
Detective Superintendent Stewart Gull - States of Jersey Police
The police have begun the first of 50 forensic examinations. They’re so thorough that its two days before two of the bodies are even moved. The police quickly establish that Damian is a lone assailant.
The surrounding area is put into lock down. But before the press can broadcast the incident, Facebook and Twitter carry the first reports. Social media explodes with speculation. A phone call is made to Jersey policewoman DC Karen Sykes. Like many islanders, she’s barbecuing. The family liaison officer is told to return to the office. The only information she’s given is that there’s been an incident and that it involves knives and possibly children.
On her arrival at the hospital she is greeted by chaos. It is in shut down. Only professionals are allowed in. Karen is asked to assist the doctor. In the first room, they pronounce life extinct on four victims. With that done, their injuries are documented. Next, they try to identify the bodies. None have identification.
One of the victim’s mobile keeps ringing and receiving messages. A colleague of Karen’s establishes it’s a relative. They call them in order to establish who might have been at the crime scene. The phone caller is Craig De La Hay. He is trying to locate his wife Marta and his daughter Julia. They should have been home at 6 o’clock that evening. He is very worried. He has been checking Facebook. He knows there’s been an incident at Victoria Crescent and knows that’s where Marta and Julia were going.
The police wait for Damian to regain consciousness. They need him awake to both arrest and question him.
But he’s been heavily sedated due to the severity of his self inflicted injuries.
On Monday, he comes round. He is arrested on suspicion of six murders. He is kept under guard in the hospital for the next ten days.
It is the start of a year of investigation for the States of Jersey Police. Experts from the Devon and Cornwall police force are seconded in. Hundreds of witness statements will be taken.