Man arrested after ‘targeted’ stabbing at Belfast offices

Workers have spoken of their shock after a man was stabbed in their Belfast office building.

A man armed with a knife attacked another man at the Scottish Provident Building, which faces Belfast City Hall, at around 2pm yesterday.

It is understood the victim suffered injuries to his chest and arms and has been taken to hospital for treatment.

His colleagues managed to apprehend the attacker inside and it was reported that the injured man staggered out of the building before collapsing on the chairs of a nearby cafe.

Police have arrested a 24-year-old man on suspicion of attempted murder. He remains in custody.

The building’s management team confirmed the arrested man had agreed to meet with a tenant in the building before the attack.

A police presence remained outside yesterday as rush-hour commuters made their way home.

Stephen McDowell (35) runs a company from the Scottish Provident Building.

“A think a lot of people were taken aback by it. Although it’s not a public building, it’s not hard to gain access to it,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

“I heard some people in the business where it happened managed to restrain him.

“I think he got access to the building as he was having a meeting.

“Security does seem a little bit tighter today.”

Although there have been no reports of the attacker being intoxicated, Mr McDowell added that he and other workers felt there was a growing problem with drug use and antisocial behaviour outside the building.

“I definitely would like to see them toughen up security measures for getting inside,” he said.

Accountant Rory Morgan (29) caught sight of the attacker and said he was told by police it was targeted.

“He got into an office and stabbed some guy a few times. He tried to run out and actually ran past our office,” he said.

“The detectives told us that it was targeted, which at least means that the other people in the building weren’t at as much risk.

“I do think it’s a freak occurrence. It may have been a client and it almost seems like an (attempted) assassination.”

Mr Morgan said he had also noticed an increasing problem with drug abuse in the area.

“A few weeks ago, someone had to get escorted out of the toilets inside because of drug use,” he said.

“When I walked out of the building last Friday, a guy who was on pretty heavy drugs also started giving me abuse.

“I don’t think security needs to be beefed up particularly – if you want to get in somewhere, you can get in somewhere.”

Another woman working in the building added: “It was unnerving, but the police where there very quickly and everyone seemed calm afterwards.

“The fella that was arrested seemed calm as well when he was taken out.”

Detective Inspector Kerry Brennan appealed for any witnesses to call 101, quoting reference number 982 for September 10.

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