The devastated family of a worker killed outside a factory has paid a heartbreaking tribute to the “loving and committed husband and father”.
Robert Wilson, 53, and a colleague were locking up gates at Thornton and Ross in Linthwaite, West Yorks, when he was stabbed, it is reported.
Mr Wilson saw the group involved in a ‘fracas’ and he told them to stop and leave the industrial site.
His colleague chased one off the site and was stabbed nearby, and Mr Wilson was then knifed near the company’s car park, ExaminerLive reports.
In a statement released by police, Mr Wilson’s family said: “Robert was a loving and committed husband and father. As well as being loved and respected by work colleagues and friends.
Have you been affected by the incident? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“He leaves behind a devastated wife, Elaine, and two step children, Jack and Ella. The family would like to request privacy and respect during this difficult time.”
Mr Wilson, a night supervisor from Birstall, was pronounced dead at the scene after being attacked at about 11.45pm on Thursday.
His 39-year-old colleague was being treated for serious injuries in hospital.
Five people were initially arrested by West Yorkshire Police. Of those, warrants of further detention have been granted for two males, aged 18 and 15, who remain in custody.
Two other males, aged 18 and 17, and a 17-year-old girl have all been released from custody facing no further action.
CCTV footage seen by ExaminerLive showed a group of youths drinking near the scene before they entered the Thornton and Ross site.
Two are later seen running from the site.
A post-mortem exam was due to take place on Saturday.
A friend of Mr Wilson said: “He was a good friend of mine. I’ve known him for a few years.
“He was a lovely lad, absolutely brilliant and really down to earth.
“He got on with everybody and was a really top guy.
“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“I received a text saying he had been murdered. It’s just awful news.”
A woman who lives nearby said: “I heard someone screaming, it was horrible.
“It was about 11.45pm. I thought, ‘God it sounds like someone is killing someone’.
“I heard high-pitched screaming and then saw blue lights. There was one guy on the floor and people standing over him.
“More and more police arrived and the helicopter arrived.”
She added: The woman continued: “The police were frantically searching, presumably for the culprits responsible for the guy on the floor.
“More than 10 officers were searching the premises of Thornton and Ross.
“As this was going on I could see a drip being held by one of the officers as paramedics were performing CPR. After many minutes CPR ceased.”
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Ridley, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “A wide range of police enquiries remain ongoing into this extremely serious offence and we continue to hold two males in custody today.
“We will maintain increased police patrols in the Linthwaite area over the weekend to reassure residents as our enquiries continue.
“We continue to appeal for witnesses and CCTV and I again want to thank everyone who has come forwards with information to assist the investigation so far.”
Thornton and Ross said it was “shocked and saddened” by the incident.
It added: “Our immediate thoughts are with the families and colleagues affected by this tragic incident.
“T&R is working to support West Yorkshire Police as they conduct the murder investigation to ascertain the full circumstances of the incident.”