Female travel agent killed in daylight attack 'after throat is slit by attacker' inside TUI store in front of horrified shoppers

A female travel agent has died after a horror attack inside a busy travel agent in front of terrified shoppers.

Witnesses say they saw a woman covered in blood being carried out on a stretcher, with one delivery driver saying he had been told her ‘throat had been slit’.

Detectives in Southport, Merseyside, have opened a murder investigation following the 28-year-old’s death, which has been described as a ‘domestic-related’ incident.

Teams of police and two air ambulances descended on the scene this afternoon, and a man was detained.

Holiday giant TUI has confirmed that a female staff member was involved in the attack at its premises shortly before 1.30pm.

Eyewitnesses say they saw a woman being carried out covered in blood
(Image: Liverpool Echo)

Onlookers said they saw armed police in the busy town centre shopping parade.

A 30-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

A cordon was erected around the travel agent, while witnesses said two air ambulances landed at nearby Marine Lake.

Merseyside Police said a man had been detained at the scene and that the incident “remains ongoing”, the Liverpool Echo reports.

A 28-year-old woman died as a result of her injuries
(Image: Liverpool Echo)
(Image: Liverpool Echo)

A statement from Merseyside Police said: “Merseyside Police can confirm a murder investigation has been launched following an incident in Southport today, Saturday 13th January.

“Officers were contacted at 1.25pm following reports that a 28-year-old woman had been injured at the TUI travel agents on Chapel Street.

The attack happened shortly before 1.30pm today
(Image: Liverpool Echo)

“The woman was taken to hospital where she subsequently died from her injuries.

“The woman’s next of kin have been informed.

“A 30 year-old man from the Southport area has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently being held in custody.

“It is believed that the incident was domestic-related.”

One eyewitness said: “I was walking past when they were rushing to get the woman into the ambulance.

”There was a lady from the travel agent shaking outside the shop, and lots of police around who had just arrived.”

She added: ”I don’t think it was a shooting. I was further down Chapel Street and didn’t hear any gunshot.”

Delivery driver Rich Lawson, 27, was dropping off a package at the nearby Vision Express shop when he said he was ushered in and locked inside by staff.

Rich said: “When I got there they had locked all the doors. They let me in and locked it behind me and would not let me out.

“I think the incident was in TUI two doors down.

“I saw them bring a girl out on a stretcher and putting her into an ambulance.

Police have opened a murder investigation following the attack
(Image: Liverpool Echo)
Forensics officers on the scene of the attack which left a 28-year-old woman dead
(Image: Liverpool Echo)

“She was covered up but I could see blood on her face. There was a lot of blood and she looked like she was unconscious. They rushed her into the ambulance.

“I would say she was in her mid 20s. A couple of people have said she was being held hostage.

“I overheard a lady wearing a TUI uniform on the phone. She was shaking and said her throat was slit but whether that’s true I don’t know.

“I was in there for about 10 minutes and when I went back to my van and drove past the police riot van was up against the door and it looked like they were bringing a man out of the shop.”

(Image: Liverpool Echo)

Taking to Twitter, Luke Chandley described how there are about 10 police vehicles at the scene, as well as an ambulance.

He wrote: “Mad stuff going down in Southport. About 10 police vehicles, one van backed in to Thompson’s. An ambulance too. What a mad day.”

Video footage shows huge crowds gathering around the cordon, set up on one of the busiest shopping streets in the town centre.

A spokesman for the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust confirmed to Mirror Online that a woman had been taken to hospital.

Armed police rushed to the scene in Southport following the attack
TUI has confirmed that a member of its staff was attacked

He said: “We got a call at 1.27pm to Chapel Street and we have sent numerous resources, including two air ambulances, a land ambulance and a couple of our advance paramedics.

“One patient was taken to Southport Hospital.”

A statement from TUI said: “We regret to confirm that a female member of staff has been involved in an incident at our Southport TUI retail store today, Saturday 13th January.

“We’re doing everything possible to assist the local police with their investigation and support our staff and customers at this difficult time.

“We will issue further statements as soon as information becomes available.”

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