United Kingdom

Pictured: Two teenage boys, 16, ‘stabbed to death’ in Essex

Two teenage boys who were ‘stabbed to death’ in Essex at the weekend have been pictured for the first time, as eight men are held on suspicion of murder.

Heartbroken family and friends visited a makeshift memorial for the two 16-year-olds, named locally as Frankie Gater and Charlie, in Brentwood earlier today.

Detectives launched a double murder investigation and are still questioning eight men aged 19 to 49 following the suspected stabbing at the weekend. All are from Essex, with five from the town of Grays, two from South Ockendon and one from Brentwood.

Essex Police said officers were called to Regency Court at about 1.30am on Sunday and found three people had been injured, including two teenagers who later died from their injuries. The third person was treated for non-life threatening injuries, the force added. 

Tributes are now flooding in for the ‘much loved’ pair of 16-year-olds, with Frankie’s cousin Charlie Gater writing on Facebook: ‘Words can’t describe how sad I feel for your mum and dad Frankie. Rest in paradise.’

She added on Instagram: ‘It’s physically causing me pain I’ve lost my cousin. I can’t believe you’re gone it seems like I’m lost in a nightmare. Our whole family love you Frankie Gater. 

‘Rest in perfect paradise. You always made me laugh and I’d be so excited to see your face. Your smile lit a light in my soul whenever I heard your name. You was one of a kind Frankie Gater, there is no other like you. I’m sorry you didn’t get to see the rest of life.’

Another friend of the boys added: ‘Words can’t explain how I feel about losing my brother and you to Frankie, forever be in my heart.’ 

Charlie

Heartbroken family and friends visited a makeshift memorial for the two 16-year-olds, named locally as Frankie Gater (left) and Charlie (right), in Brentwood on Monday

Family and friends have visited the makeshift memorial where two 16-year-old boys were 'stabbed to death' in Essex on Sunday morning

Family and friends have visited the makeshift memorial where two 16-year-old boys were ‘stabbed to death’ in Essex on Sunday morning

Police conduct a fingertip search where two teenage boys died from stab wounds in the early hours of Sunday morning at Regency Court, Brentwood in Essex

Police conduct a fingertip search where two teenage boys died from stab wounds in the early hours of Sunday morning at Regency Court, Brentwood in Essex

The Mayor of Brentwood, Ms Olivia Sanders, also arrived at the site to lay flowers with the message 'From the residents of the Borough of Brentwood'

The Mayor of Brentwood, Ms Olivia Sanders, also arrived at the site to lay flowers with the message ‘From the residents of the Borough of Brentwood’

Police said officers found three people injured after receiving a number of calls to Regency Court, Brentwood, at about 1.30am on Sunday. Two of those have since died while the third was treated for non-life threatening injuries, the force added

Police said officers found three people injured after receiving a number of calls to Regency Court, Brentwood, at about 1.30am on Sunday. Two of those have since died while the third was treated for non-life threatening injuries, the force added

One of Charlie’s friends said: ‘I promise you I’m gonna make you so proud and I will always be thinking of you Charlie. You was honestly so loved by everyone and you and Frankie of all people did not deserve this. We had our whole future planned together and I’m gonna go and do them just like you’re with me still.’ 

A third victim was treated for injuries after the knifing – which police say are not life-threatening or life-changing.

Detectives are ‘working to establish how the boys died’ and post-mortem examinations will take place. It is understood that the teenagers suffered suspected stab wounds. 

A neighbour at the scene said he heard shouts and someone ‘yelling out in pain’ from the scene of the suspected double murder, and claimed he tried to warn police about anti-social behaviour weeks earlier.

‘There’s constant anti-social behaviour, drinking, drugs, shouting, fighting,’ Mark MacIntosh told reporters. ‘I’ve heard people saying ”I’m going to kill him” up there.

‘I’ve come down and broken up a knife fight down at the bottom here before. I realise that what I heard was somebody yelling out in pain who may have lost his life shortly thereafter.’ 

Police said officers found three people injured after receiving a number of calls to Regency Court, Brentwood, at about 1.30am on Sunday

Police said officers found three people injured after receiving a number of calls to Regency Court, Brentwood, at about 1.30am on Sunday

Eight men - including two aged 40 and 49 - have been arrested on suspicion of murder and are still being held by detectives

Eight men – including two aged 40 and 49 – have been arrested on suspicion of murder and are still being held by detectives

Scared locals warned police about violence and anti-social behaviour near the Essex scene where the 16-year-olds were stabbed to death

Scared locals warned police about violence and anti-social behaviour near the Essex scene where the 16-year-olds were stabbed to death

Another resident from South Street, who asked not to be named, said their thoughts are with the loved ones affected.

They told Essex Live: ‘You feel for the family – some poor mother has had her world destroyed. We have always had noise and what-not from the clubs and kids coming up and down but I wouldn’t expect this.  

‘I feel sorry for the people, their parents and their families. Some poor mother has a broken heart today.’ 

On Sunday, Detective Superintendent Stephen Jennings said that there had been an altercation between ‘two groups’ who ‘knew each other’.

Essex Police Detective Chief Inspector Mark Barber said the horrifying incident was ‘probably a targeted attack’ and was an isolated incident.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Truss, said: ‘Our team is continuing to investigate the circumstances which led to two teenage boys sadly losing their lives in Brentwood in the early hours of Sunday morning.

‘At the moment, we are exploring numerous lines of enquiry which include assessing hours of CCTV which show the area in question. We also have specially trained family liaison officers in place who are continuing to support the boys’ families.

‘I am also echoing an appeal for anyone who was in the Crown Street area of Brentwood between 10pm on Saturday and 5am on Sunday morning to come forward and speak to us if they have not already done so.’  

The murder scene was still taped off on Monday as police continued their meticulous investigation

The murder scene was still taped off on Monday as police continued their meticulous investigation

Officers lined up to scour the road and pavement for clues, not matter how small they could be

Officers lined up to scour the road and pavement for clues, not matter how small they could be

Two teenagers sadly died at the scene near Regency Court in Brentwood, Essex, while one other victim was taken to hospital with stab wounds

Two teenagers sadly died at the scene near Regency Court in Brentwood, Essex, while one other victim was taken to hospital with stab wounds

Emergency services attended the scene en-masse after receiving a number of calls from the public at around 1.30am yesterday morning

Emergency services attended the scene en-masse after receiving a number of calls from the public at around 1.30am yesterday morning

A forensics tent was erected at the spot where the tragedy occurred as officers continue to gather evidence 

A forensic officer at Regency Court in Brentwood, Essex, where two teenage boys died in the early hours of Sunday morning

A forensic officer at Regency Court in Brentwood, Essex, where two teenage boys died in the early hours of Sunday morning

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Clarkson, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, led the investigation through the night.

He said: ‘This incident has required an immediate and a large-scale response and officers and investigators have worked through the night to piece together what happened in the lead up to this tragic incident.

‘Our investigations will continue throughout today. We understand there will naturally be shock and concern within the community after such a tragic loss of life. But, at this stage, we do not believe there is any wider threat to the public.’  

Chief Inspector Mark Barber added: ‘There will continue to be a highly visible police presence in Brentwood this morning and indeed throughout the day. I am acutely aware that this incident will shock many without the community.’ 

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Truss, said: ‘Our team is continuing to investigate the circumstances which led to two teenage boys sadly losing their lives in Brentwood in the early hours of Sunday morning. 

Detective Superintendent Stephen Jennings speaks to the media outside Brentwood Town Hall in Essex

A police officer and sniffer dog at Regency Court in Brentwood

Left: Detective Superintendent Stephen Jennings speaks to the media outside Brentwood Town Hall in Essex. Right: A police officer and sniffer dog at Regency Court

A forensic officer at Regency Court in Brentwood, Essex, where two teenage boys died in the early hours of Sunday morning

A forensic officer at Regency Court in Brentwood, Essex, where two teenage boys died in the early hours of Sunday morning

Forensic examiners have remained in place throughout the day and are still combing for evidence

Forensic examiners have remained in place throughout the day and are still combing for evidence

The street remains closed to traffic and pedestrians, except residents of the building nearby

The street remains closed to traffic and pedestrians, except residents of the building nearby 

‘At the moment, we are exploring numerous lines of enquiry which include assessing hours of CCTV which show the area in question. We also have specially trained family liaison officers in place who are continuing to support the boys’ families.

‘I am also echoing an appeal for anyone who was in the Crown Street area of Brentwood between 10pm on Saturday and 5am on Sunday morning to come forward and speak to us if they have not already done so.’   

The Conservative MP for Brentwood and Ongar, Alex Burghart, said the community is in a ‘state of shock’. 

‘Incidents like these are quite rare in our town and to have two boys killed in one night has left us very upset,’ he said. ‘I completely understand people will be shaken by this but I hope they take some reassurance that police believe it is an isolated incident and will be providing enhanced police presence in the coming days. 

‘There are no words I can say to make this better but my deepest condolences go out to families affected and I know everyone in Brentwood will be wanting to send their sympathies as well.’ 

Two forensic officers are spotted in the street, close to the spot where the violence occured

Two forensic officers are spotted in the street, close to the spot where the violence occured 

A police guard remains in place at the scene in Brentwood, Essex, after two teenage boys died

A police guard remains in place at the scene in Brentwood, Essex, after two teenage boys died

A blue tent was erected nearby and police tape was pulled across the site to block off public access

A blue tent was erected nearby and police tape was pulled across the site to block off public access

Brentwood is an affluent part of Essex, where many scenes of ITV's hit reality series TOWIE (The Only Way is Essex) are filmed

Brentwood is an affluent part of Essex, where many scenes of ITV’s hit reality series TOWIE (The Only Way is Essex) are filmed

A forensic officer at the scene of the tragedy

A forensic officer at the scene of the tragedy

Officers are patrolling the area to provide reassurance to anxious residents following the outbreak of violence

Officers are patrolling the area to provide reassurance to anxious residents following the outbreak of violence

A blue tent was erected at the site and police tape was put around it to block off public access.   

An Essex Police spokesman said: ‘We received a number of calls to Regency Court, including from colleagues in the ambulance service, at about 1.30am. 

‘We arrived and found three people had been injured. Despite the efforts of medics, two of that group have now died. Their families are being supported by specialist officers. 

‘We are working to establish how the boys died and a forensic post-mortem examination will be carried out. The third victim was treated for injuries which are neither life-threatening nor life-changing.’       

Pictured: Two teenage boys, 16, ‘stabbed to death’ in Essex SourcePictured: Two teenage boys, 16, ‘stabbed to death’ in Essex

Back to top button