Two more arrests have been made as part of the investigation into the deaths of two teenage boys who were stabbed in Bristol.
Officers attended Ilminster Avenue, in Knowle West, at around 11.20pm on Saturday (27 January) within minutes of two boys being attacked by a number of people. The boys sadly died in the early hours of yesterday morning in hospital.
One of the boys who sadly died has been confirmed as 15-year-old Mason Rist and while the formal identification process has not yet been completed for the other, we believe him to be 16-year-old Max Dixon.
Two people – a 44-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy – were arrested hours after the two boys died and remain in police custody.
A third man, aged 20, was arrested this morning (Monday 29 January) while a 22-year-old man was arrested this afternoon. Both also remain in custody.
Bristol Commander Supt Mark Runacres said: “It is with great sadness that we confirm the names of the two young boys, Mason Rist and Max Dixon, who died following the incident on Saturday night.
“Any death is awful, but the loss of Mason and Max, who had their whole lives in front of them, is particularly tragic and my heart breaks for the families who have to endure such unimaginable pain and suffering. Our thoughts remain with them during this time.
“We have a team of highly professional, dedicated officers who are working 24/7 to identify those involved in this dreadful incident and bring them to justice. Our specialist family liaison officers continue to support and update the families and informed them earlier about the arrests we’ve made today.
“The devastation felt by the community following this incident is clear. More than 150 people attended a vigil near the scene yesterday evening (Sunday 28 January) while there was also a large turnout at a residents’ meeting earlier today.
“I’d like to reassure everyone of our commitment to working with residents, our partners in the council, staff in schools and the many others in the wider community.
“Our investigation is progressing well, with four people arrested so far and more arrests are to come. We are committed to doing everything we can to hold to account those responsible for this horrendous crime and to provide answers to Max’s and Mason’s families.”
The cordon in Ilminster Avenue was removed at 7pm yesterday and Supt Runacres would like to thank the residents for their patience and understanding while forensic searches were carried out.
He added: “We would like to thank everyone for supporting our investigation so far and appreciate there may have been some disruption, but we hope people understand the importance of the work being carried out.
“The local community can still expect to see a heightened police presence in the area over the coming days, with local Beat Surgeries being planned and the mobile police station in place later this week.
“Officers from our Neighbourhood Policing Team were in attendance at the residents’ meeting to provide reassurance to the community and they will continue to carry out patrols in the area.
“We would like to remind people that is it extremely important there is no commentary or sharing of information or images which could prejudice any future proceedings.
“There are families who are mourning the loss of their loved ones, and seeing speculation, footage and images on social media during such a difficult time may cause them further upset while it could also hinder our investigation.”
Christina Gray, Director of Communities and Public Health at Bristol City Council, said: “This tragic incident has left us all with a profound sense of sadness and grief for the two young lives lost under awful circumstances. I, my colleagues and the communities of Bristol have the families of both boys in our thoughts as we come together to ensure we’re here to support all those affected by this terrible incident.
“The community response to supporting those affected has been humbling, with so much outpouring of love and togetherness. Key members of the communities around Knowle West and south Bristol are already working closely with officers from the city’s statutory agencies and local charities to ensure people have access to the help they need.
“There is help available to deal with the trauma of this situation and to come to terms with the emotional and mental stress that stems from it. We’re also working with local schools to play their part in being there for their children, young people, parents and carers.
“As with any traumatic incident, it’s important that people take the time to care for themselves and allow others to support in that healing process. Get rest and sleep. Talk to someone – it could be a friend, a relative – someone you trust. We’re blessed in Bristol to have a strong and supportive local network of professionals who can give you that extra help when needed so please, seek them out.”
If you witnessed anything, have CCTV or doorbell footage covering the area, or have any further information which could help the investigation and have not yet contacted the police, please do so at the earliest opportunity.
You can submit information and footage via the Major Incident Public Portal using this website link:
Help and support
Help is available for those, both adults and children, who feel they have been impacted by these events and is experiencing a reaction associated with trauma. Common signs of the impacts of trauma include:
- Feeling unable or not having anyone to talk to about what happened.
- Poor sleep due to intrusive thoughts or disturbing dreams impacting rest.
- Experiencing overwhelming emotions or feeling emotionally numb.
- Feeling as if your relationships are suffering since the incident.
In the first instance it’s important that if someone’s wellbeing or mental health is suffering, they call 111 or contact their GP.
Mental health support in Bristol can be accessed by contacting Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership:
- Adults can call the AWP 24/7 response line: 0800 953 1919
- Children under 18 can call the AWP CAMHS response line: 0800 953 9599
Information and advice related to mental health and the support available can also be found online:
If you prefer to contact the police by phone, call 101 and provide the call handler with the reference 5224023382.
Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via its dedicated youth service Fearless.
No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.
Tragedies such as this are a stark reminder of the awful consequences of knife crime. Reducing knife crime is one of our key priorities as a police service, it’s something we work all year round tackling. For more information, please visit our website.