A man has been charged with the murders of two teenage boys in Bristol.
Football fan Mason Rist, 15, and “kind soul” Max Dixon, 16, were stabbed to death in the Knowle West area of the city on Saturday night, triggering a murder investigation by Avon and Somerset Police.
On Wednesday night, police charged Anthony Snook, 44, of Hartcliffe in Bristol, with the murders of the two boys. He will appear before Bristol Magistrates’ Court on Thursday morning.
Detective Superintendent Gary Haskins said: “This is a pivotal moment in our investigation and Mason’s and Max’s families have both been informed of this development.
“Specialist family liaison officers are providing them with support and we continue to ask their privacy is respected and they are given space to grieve. A total of eight people have been arrested as part of our investigation with five others in addition to Anthony Snook still in police custody.
“Our inquiry is continuing at pace with than 100 officers and staff working around the clock to bring all those responsible for Mason’s and Max’s death to justice.”
Residents ran out of their homes to help the teenagers following the attack before police arrived at the scene to provide first aid.
But the pair died in hospital, sending the local community into shock with a vigil attended by more than 100 people on Sunday night.
On Monday, Mason’s devastated grandmother visited the scene of the stabbing, where flowers, cards and candles have been left for the teenagers.
Gail Iles revealed the youngster was a devoted Liverpool fan who tragically lost his father Shayne Rist to Covid. She said it would be nice if the club sent a representative in tribute to the boy, adding: “It is so tragic.”
In a tribute shared on Facebook, a woman believed to be Max’s mother told how her life had been ripped apart by the tragedy.
“I just can’t find the words right now, I don’t have the energy or strength… we loved Max so so much. I just ask please help my girls,” Leanne Ekland posted, alongside a picture of the smiling teenager.
Max’s heartbroken sister Kayleigh also posted an emotional tribute on Facebook on Sunday, which said: “My baby brother… one of a kind you are.
“You sleep tight. A beautiful, kind soul gone. Just taken 16 years so young and innocent oh my heart is broken.
“I really hope you know how much we love you. How much I love you. You will be missed kiddo I’ll always look out for you in every sunset, shine bright lil’ bro.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said tackling knife crime requires a “laser focus” as he called for the nation to “roll up our sleeves” and take action.
Responding to news of the latest tragedy during a visit to Warrington, he told broadcasters: “This is devastating for the family and friends of these two youngsters. I have teenage children myself. I cannot even imagine what it’s like for the family and friends.”
He added: “We can’t carry on with these awful stories of knife crime. We have to roll up our sleeves and do something about it.”