Man killed in screwdriver stabbing in shopping centre was 'devoted dad' say his heartbroken family

The family of a man who was stabbed to death with a screwdriver at the entrance to a busy North East shopping centre have said he was a “devoted father.”

Thursday, 15th August 2019, 3:25 pm
Updated Monday, 19th August 2019, 4:24 pm
Police officers outside Old Eldon Square, Newcastle, where Peter Duncan was attacked. Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

Last night, Wednesday, August 14, Peter Duncan, 52, from Newcastle, suffered a fatal injury consistent with being stabbed after an incident inside the doors of the shopping centre at Old Eldon Square.

Emergency services attended and Peter was taken to hospital where he sadly died, with a murder investigation now under way.

Police officers conduct a search near to Old Eldon Square, Newcastle, following the death of Peter Duncan. Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

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His family have today paid tribute to Peter, who they say will be in their “hearts and thoughts every day.”

They said in a statement: “Peter was a kind and caring man who was always first to help others.

"He was a devoted father, husband, son, brother, uncle and friend and loved by all who knew him.

“His death will leave such a huge hole in our lives and he’ll be deeply missed by us all.”

“Words can’t quite describe what life will be like without him. He had so much of his life left to live and he’ll be in our hearts and thoughts every day.”

Police say the investigation is at a “very early stage but it appears there has been a coming together at the entrance to the shopping centre.”

Shortly after the incident, officers arrested seven boys, a 14-year-old, two 15-year-olds and four 17-year-olds, in connection with the incident, one of which is believed to be the main suspect.

Northumbria Police Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Ged Noble, said: “This was a tragic incident and our thoughts go out to Peter’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.

“They continue to be given any support they may need by a team of specialist officers.

“Peter’s family have requested that their privacy is respected during this difficult time.

“I appreciate the communities we serve will have concerns and I want to reassure the public and businesses that we are doing all we can to prevent incidents of this tragic nature and ensure people feel safe.

“We will be continuing extra patrols in the area and I would urge anyone with concerns to speak to an officer.

“We are committed to finding out the circumstances behind Peter’s death, and I’d like to thank members of the public who’ve been in touch passing on information that could assist detectives with this investigation.

“Our enquiries will continue and I would ask anyone who witnessed the incident, who are yet to come forward, to pick up the phone and contact police.”

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to call police on 101 quoting reference number 281 15/08/19 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.