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Brawls break out as police are dispatched to control crowds at memorial

Brawls break out as police are dispatched to control crowds at memorial in Newport after local man, 26, was stabbed to death – as five teens are held on suspicion of murder

  • Ryan O’Connor was attacked on a trip to the shops in Alway on Thursday evening
  • The local community then gathered in the street to pay their respects on Friday
  • But police had to intervene as fights broke out among some parts of the crowd

Brawls broke out in Wales last night after police were dispatched to control crowds at a memorial for a local man stabbed to death. 

Five teenagers, including two boys of 17, were arrested over the murder of Ryan O’Connor, who was attacked on an evening trip to the shops in Newport.

His heartbroken family and friends left green balloon tributes to the 26-year-old, known to all as ‘Apple’. 

But as the community in Alway gathered to pay their respects on Friday night, fights broke out among some sections of the crowd.

Ryan O’Connor, known as Apple (pictured), was stabbed to death on Thursday evening

Brawls broke out in Wales last night after police were dispatched to control crowds at a memorial

Brawls broke out in Wales last night after police were dispatched to control crowds at a memorial

As the community in Alway gathered to pay their respects on Friday night, fights broke out among some sections of the crowd

As the community in Alway gathered to pay their respects on Friday night, fights broke out among some sections of the crowd

More than 30 bunches of flowers have been left at the scene of the attack, as well as dozens of green balloons

More than 30 bunches of flowers have been left at the scene of the attack, as well as dozens of green balloons

One man appears to be on the ground in images from the scene, while another is wrestled to the floor by officers. 

Witnesses reported hearing shouting and screaming throughout the crowd, which is said to have included up to 50 people.

A Gwent Police spokesman said last night: ‘We’ve received a report of disorder in the Alway area of Newport at around 5pm on Friday 11 June.

‘Officers remain at the scene after a large group of people were reportedly seen in the Balfe Road area.’

The five suspects – aged between 17 and 19 – were arrested on suspicion of murder after he was found dead in Alway on Thursday night.

Mr O’Connor’s brother Johnny said: ‘He’d just gone to the shop last night, then this happened.

‘I’m still in shock, this doesn’t seem real. None of this.

‘My brother was chopsy (talkative) but had a heart of gold. He was an Alway lad through and through, everyone on the estate knew him.’

Witnesses reported hearing shouting and screaming throughout the crowd, which is said to have included up to 50 people

Witnesses reported hearing shouting and screaming throughout the crowd, which is said to have included up to 50 people

The five suspects - aged between 17 and 19 - were arrested on suspicion of murder after he was found dead in Alway on Thursday night

The five suspects – aged between 17 and 19 – were arrested on suspicion of murder after he was found dead in Alway on Thursday night

Floral tributes have been left at the scene of the attack, which shocked the local community

Floral tributes have been left at the scene of the attack, which shocked the local community

Gwent Police said it received a report of disorder in the area at around 5pm on Friday night

Gwent Police said it received a report of disorder in the area at around 5pm on Friday night

More than 30 bunches of flowers have been left at the scene of the attack, as well as dozens of green balloons. 

Two friends who asked not to be named said: ‘We’re in shock. We grew up with him.

‘We’ve known him since we were babies. He was a quiet lad and extremely popular. Very well known in the area. You can see by the tributes already this morning what people thought of him.’

Police said three men, aged 18 and 19, and two 17-year-old boys have been arrested on suspicion of murder and are currently in police custody.

A spokesman said: ‘Emergency services were called after the 26-year-old was found unconscious and unresponsive.’

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