A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder, Nottinghamshire Police said.
Police were first alerted to an incident on Ilkeston Road near the city center early Tuesday local time, where two people aged 19 were found dead. The University of Nottingham later tweeted Tuesday that two university students were killed. “We are shocked and devastated by the news and our thoughts are with those affected, their families and friends.”
Officers were then called to another incident a few roads down, on Milton Street, where a van had tried to run three people over. They were subsequently hospitalized.
A man in his 50s was also found dead on Magdala Road.
Police said they believe all three incidents are linked, in what they described as a “city attack.”
One eyewitness, Lynn Haggitt, told the BBC she saw a white van go “straight into these two people,” during her work commute early Tuesday local time.
“The woman went on the kerb. The man went up in the air. It was such a bang,” Haggitt said. “I wish I never saw it, it’s really shaken me up.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Chief Constable Kate Meynell told reporters on Thursday evening that police believed the suspect stole the vehicle before driving it into members of the public. The van was later stopped by police, and the suspect “tasered and detained by police officers on suspicion of murder.”
No further arrests have been made, according to Meynell, who did not take questions from reporters.
British Prime Minster Rishi Sunak offered his condolences to the victims.
“My thoughts are with those injured, and the family and loved ones of those who have lost their lives,” he tweeted.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: “Our thoughts go to the victims of the tragic events in Nottingham, the injured, the families. We share the grief of our British friends and stand by their side.”
UK lawmaker Robert Jenrick said locals were in “a sense of shock,” following the events.
“I’m deeply grateful to @nottspolice and all those who responded to the terrible attack earlier today in Nottingham. All of us in Nottinghamshire share a sense of shock. My thoughts and prayers are with those injured and with the family and friends of those killed,” he tweeted.
Another UK lawmaker, Alex Norris, tweeted: “Awful news for our city to wake up to today. Our community’s thoughts and prayers are with all those affected. Our gratitude is with our blue light responders for their work today also.”
CNN’s Natasha Maguder and Joseph Ataman contributed reporting.