A MURDER investigation is underway after a man was stabbed to death in Chester-le-Street.

Another man is seriously injured in hospital following the incident, which happened just after 2am. 

Police were called to reports of a stabbing in the town's Melville Street at 2.05am on Sunday morning.

A 26-year-old man suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. His death is being treated as murder. He is believed to be local.

A 42-year-old man suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries and has been taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, for treatment.

A police cordon was placed at the scene and people were urged to avoid the area while officers carry out their inquiries.

No one has been arrested. 

Detective Chief Superintendent Victoria Fuller, who is leading the investigation, said: “This investigation is in the very early stages, but I would like to reassure the local community that we are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.

“I would ask that people avoid the area if possible to allow our officers to carry out their enquiries. Neighbourhood officers are being deployed to the area to provide reassurance to local residents.

“I would also like to thank the local community for their patience, understanding and cooperation while we deal with the incident.”

Forensic investigators have been working in the street this morning and people living within the cordon were told not to leave their houses.

One woman, who lives next to where the incident happened, says she went to bed at about 1.30am and was disturbed at about 2am by shouting.

She said: “I heard a woman screaming ‘there’s blood everywhere’. She ran away and went back into the house and was on the phone to the ambulance. 

“There was about 12 police that came and three ambulances. 

The Northern Echo:

"There was lots of blood everywhere.

“I’ve lived here for 30 years and there’s never been a stabbing. You wouldn’t think it could happen in your own doorway.”

John Howlet, who lives in a neighbouring street, said: “I woke up because my dog was barking and I heard shouting.

“From what I’ve heard it happened in the early hours of the morning.

“When it's a few doors away it’s scary.”

Another woman, who lives nearby, said: “I woke up at about 2am because the dog was going beserk. 

“You just don’t expect it on a sleepy Sunday morning.”

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