Watch: 'We are a close-knit community' - reaction as teenager fights for life after stabbing in Leeds

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Residents have spoken of their shock as a teenager is fighting for his life after being stabbed in Leeds.

The 18-year-old man suffered serious injuries, including a significant wound to his abdomen, during an incident in Meanwood last night.

The McColl's shop and police cordon in Stainbeck Road, Meanwood.

The McColl's shop and police cordon in Stainbeck Road, Meanwood.

Emergency services were called to the scene at about 9.50pm to treat the victim, who had sought help from staff at the McColl’s shop, in Stainbeck Road, after being attacked nearby.

He was taken to hospital and underwent emergency surgery overnight, but police said he remains in a critical condition today.

A police cordon was in place, and part of Stainbeck Road was closed, this morning as police investigators examined the scene.

Keeley Wykman, a receptionist at Stainbeck Dental Practice, which is two doors down from the McColl's shop where the victim went for help, told the YEP: "When we got here today, a young girl who works in the shop told us that there had been an incident.

The Stainbeck Road, in Meanwood, which was closed this morning.

The Stainbeck Road, in Meanwood, which was closed this morning.

"She just said that there was a young lad who went into the shop last night and that he was stabbed."

"Nothing like this has happened since I have been working here, which has been about five months."

The stabbing is the latest attack to happen in the area, after a teenager was shot last year.

The 19-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to the leg in February 2016 during the incident, which happened at the junction of Stainbeck Road and Stainbeck Avenue.

The scene at Stainbeck Road, Meanwood.

The scene at Stainbeck Road, Meanwood.

Speaking after the latest attack on Thursday, one neighbour said: "Usually it's a really nice area here. All the kids know each other.

"There has been problems before but nothing undue, just kids being kids. It's quite a close-knit community.

"The kids all play out here."

Another resident, who lives on a street opposite the McColl's shop, said: "We had an incident like this before a couple of years ago when there was a shooting.

"I just saw that the police were there this morning but didn't hear anything last night."

A businessman, who works on Stainbeck Road, said: "I just came in today because yesterday I had a day off. I saw a lot of police this morning but don't know what happened."

Detectives have launched an appeal for witnesses to come forward after the attack last night.

Detective Inspector James Entwistle, of Leeds District CID, said: “Our enquiries are at an early stage and we are still working to establish the full circumstances surrounding this attack.

“The victim has been very seriously injured and remains in a critical condition in hospital.

“At this stage we believe the attack has probably occurred somewhere in the area between the address in Stonegate Approach and the McColl’s shop in Stainbeck Road where the victim went for help.

“We are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the attack itself or any other activity in the area, such as suspects fleeing the scene."

A large scene has been cordoned off around the McColl’s shop and a further scene is in place at the address in nearby Stonegate Approach.

Detectives are also questioning a 21-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of assault a short time after the stabbing was reported.

“While we have made an arrest, we have not yet been able to speak to the victim to get an account of what happened and we are keeping an open mind as to what has occurred and who has been involved," Det Insp Entwistle said.

“We still need as much information as possible from the public to assist the investigation and I would urge anyone who saw anything or who knows anything about the incident to contact us.

“There is currently a large scene in place in Stainbeck Road and we are working to reduce that as soon as we can. We appreciate this will be causing disruption to people in the area but we hope they will recognise the seriousness with which we have to treat an offence of this nature.

“We recognise that an incident like this will cause understandable concern to people in the community and we are liaising with our colleagues in the local neighbourhood policing team who will be increasing their patrols of the area to reassure people.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101, quoting crime number 13170511700.

Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.