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What we know about the fatal stabbings of two teenagers in Bristol

Max Dixon and Mason Rist
Mason Rist, left, and Max Dixon, right, were stabbed to death in Bristol. (GoFundMe/Facebook)

Four people have been arrested after two teenage boys were stabbed to death in Bristol before their attackers fled the scene in a car.

Max Dixon, 16, and Mason Rist, 15, were attacked in the city on Saturday evening and both died later in hospital, Avon and Somerset Police said.

On Monday evening, two men aged 20 and 22 were arrested in connection with the deaths, joining a 44-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy in being questioned by detectives

What we know

Mason and Max were attacked in Ilminster Avenue, in Knowle West, at about 11.20pm on Saturday.

The boys sustained stab wounds and were taken to two hospitals – Southmead Hospital and Bristol Royal Hospital for Children – by ambulance, where they died in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Max Dixon, pictured, died in hospital after being stabbed in Bristol. (SWNS)
Max Dixon, pictured, died in hospital after being stabbed in Bristol. (SWNS)
Flowers and tributes near to the scene in south Bristol where two teenage boys, aged 15 and 16, died after a stabbing attack by a group of people who fled the scene in a car. Picture date: Monday January 29, 2024.
Flowers and tributes left at the scene where two teenagers were stabbed to death. (PA)

Police arrived at the scene within minutes and provided first aid to the two victims, who sustained stab wounds and were taken to two hospitals – Southmead Hospital and Bristol Royal Hospital for Children – by ambulance, where they died in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Police have launched a murder investigation and said the four arrested people are in custody. Police have said inquiries are ongoing and that more arrests are expected. No weapon has yet been recovered.

A vigil was held near the scene of the attack on Sunday, where people lit candles and placed flowers for the victims.

What we don't know

The motive for the attack has not yet been established and it is not yet known whether the attackers and victims were known to each other.

Superintendent Mark Runacres, the Bristol area commander, said he did not believe the stabbings were rooted in a “gang war”.

Detectives do not yet know whether the suspects and victims were known to each other or whether the boys died in a case of mistaken identity.

The force said a vehicle has been seized but its connection to the attack is not yet known.

Officers are conducting house-to-house inquiries and several witnesses have been identified, while CCTV and doorbell footage is being gathered and a mobile police station was set up near the scene.

People take part in a vigil near to the scene in south Bristol where two teenage boys, aged 15 and 16, died after a stabbing attack by a group of people who fled the scene in a car. Picture date: Sunday January 28, 2024.
Candles are lit at a vigil in Bristol where two teenage boys were attacked and stabbed to death. (PA)
More South West stories - click above
More South West stories - click above

Police said they also wanted to speak with people who were on a bus in the area who may have seen the attack being carried out. They have also identified several witnesses they will be taking statements from.

Anyone with information about the incident or with any relevant footage has been asked to contact 101 and quote reference 5224023382.

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Tributes

Their deaths have caused shockwaves in the community.

Max's mother, Leanne Ekland, wrote on Facebook: "Devastated, our lives will never be the same without you my boy."

Max's sister, Kayleigh Dixon, wrote on Facebook: "My baby baby brother… one of a kind you are. You sleep tight, a beautiful, kind soul, gone. My heart is broken. I really hope you know how much we love you. How much I love you. You will be missed kiddo."

Avon and Somerset Police said the two boys were attacked by "a number of people" who got into a car and fled the scene.

Julie O'Reilly held one of the boys in her lap after he was stabbed and tried to comfort him.

People take part in a vigil near to the scene in south Bristol where two teenage boys, aged 15 and 16, died after a stabbing attack by a group of people who fled the scene in a car. Picture date: Sunday January 28, 2024. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
People take part in a vigil near the scene in Bristol where two teenage boys were stabbed to death. (PA)
Police at the scene in Bristol where two teenage boys were stabbed to death. (PA)
Police at the scene in Bristol where two teenage boys were stabbed to death. (PA)

She said: "I was there. I went out to the young chap on the floor - I went out to him. I had his head on my lap, trying to tell him, 'Stay with us, stay with us - we've got help coming'. I can't get it out of my head. He was a good boy."

Scott Charles, 37, who lives opposite the corner of Ilminster Avenue, said: ‘It has completely shot the neighbourhood. I was just round the corner and heard lots of shouting, and the zooms of a car. It was pretty loud, I went into the shop and next thing I hear there’s been a stabbing. They were so young, it’s so awful.”

England rugby star Ellis Genge, who went to nursery on Ilminster Avenue, wrote on X, formerly Twitter: "My thoughts are with the families affected by this tragic incident.

"I went to nursery at Illminster Avenue and although I know what the west is like, it still shocks you to see news like this. Kids in these communities need more support and help to be kept away from violence."

“Our collective thoughts are with their families at what is undoubtedly a very difficult time."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to give the two boys the "send off they deserve".