The tragic 16-year-old girl who was stabbed to death on her way to school was yesterday today named as Christina Edkins.
Christina wanted to be a nurse and was a pupil at Leasowes High School in Halesowen, West Mids.
Just weeks before her death she tweeted about how much she “hated” buses and could not wait to start driving.
A 22-year-old man, named locally as Phillip Simelane from Birmingham, was arrested 100 yards from the scene shortly after 12pm on suspicion of murder.
A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “Her family are being supported by specially trained family liaison officers at this very difficult time.
“A 22-year-old man has been arrested a short while ago near Morrisons supermarket.
“Police spotted a man acting suspiciously who fitted the description of the suspect, following a short foot chase the man was arrested and is being held on suspicion of murder.
“Detectives from the force’s Criminal Investigation Department continue to work alongside specialist Forensic Scene Investigators at the scene to identify CCTV systems which may have captured the incident on camera.”
Detective Superintendent Richard Baker from Force CID said: “This is a tragic case and the victim’s family are devastated.
“We are still anxious to hear from anyone with information or who may have witnessed the incident this morning to speak to us via the dedicated hotline 0800 096 0095.
“There will be a high police presence across the city this afternoon following this morning’s tragedy particularly on buses and in schools in the area to provide reassurance to local people.”
The headteacher at Christina’s school, Neil Shaw said: “Christina was a bright and popular student much loved by staff and students alike.
“We are deeply saddened to hear this tragic news and our thoughts and hearts go out to her family and everyone who knew her.
“The school is working closely with the police and a team of counsellors to provide support to our pupils and staff.”
Popular Christina revealed ambitions to be a nurse and tweeted about how she “hated” buses just weeks before her death.
Less than 24 hours before she died, Christina tweeted at 1.28pm on March 6: “Don’t need anyone to talk to about how I feel just need someone to be lazy with me and watch films and make me laugh.”
She also posted pictures of herself and her school pals in their uniforms during a French lesson.
On February 27 she tweeted a picture of her maths texts books and said: “Having to revise this all for tomorrow.”
On February 23 she tweeted: “When I’m on bus and @KatieEllizabeth sends me something funny and I burst out laughing and people just stare at me, hahaha opsyy.”
On the same day she tweeted: “Eughh hate catching buses, can’t wait to start driving.”
Christina Edkins was on the top deck of the bus when she was attacked, police confirmed.
She was attacked at 7.37am on the number 9 First West Midlands bus as it pulled into a stop on the Hagley Road near the Five Ways roundabout leading out of the city towards Stourbridge, West Mids.
Officers and paramedics rushed to the scene after a member of the public dialled 999 after witnessing the brutal stabbing.
The killer fled the scene and police yesterday launched a massive manhunt to catch the knife man.
Unconfirmed reports suggested she was attacked by a male friend.
Police launched a massive manhunt involving over 100 officers, including armed police, to catch the killer who wore a distinctive tiger-motif coat.
Police described him as a black man in his late teens or early 20s and said he was “extremely dangerous.”
Police interviewed other passengers on the bus who witnessed the horrific stabbing.
Forensic teams also conducted a finger-tip search of the bus before it was taken to a police compound at 11.45am with the girl’s body still on board.
Police detained and questioned a man just over a mile from the scene shortly after the murder but he was released without charge.
A spokesperson for West Midlands Police confirmed that a schoolgirl had been stabbed and succumbed to her injuries.
Traffic backed up into the city centre as police closed off the busy Hagley Road out of the city.
Shocked passersby took to Facebook to speak of their horror at the incident.
Darren Bent, from Birmingham, said his wife was on the bus.
He wrote: “Can’t believe some guy has just stabbed and killed a school girl right in front of my missus on the number nine bus on her way to work and she had to give CPR love you xxx the guy did it as bus was about to stop and ran off.”
Stephanie Clinton added: “It doesn’t make you a man if you carry a knife it makes you scum. It doesn’t matter if you in a gang or not. It’s all wrong so grow up and put the knife down.”
Twitter user Mareesha wrote: “So the girl got stabbed by her friend?”
AustymZogs tweeted: “15yr old Schoolgirl stabbed to death by a friend on a bus in Birmingham,UK during rush hour this morning.”
Detective Superintendent Richard Baker, from Force CID, said: “At 7.37am this morning police were called to an incident. It was a report of a girl that had been stabbed.
“Police officers attempted to revive the girl but unfortunately she was confirmed dead at the scene.
“The girl was 16-years-old, her family have been informed. The family are extremely distressed and distraught.
“Few of us can imagine what they are going through and we are working hard to identify the offender which involves speaking to a large number of people who witnessed the attack.
“From their descriptions, we are keen to identify a young black man in dark clothing who was on the bus and seen fleeing from the area around the time of the murder.
“We are currently actively undergoing a manhunt operation in Birmingham.
“The male we are looking for is described as a black male in his late teens or early 20s.
“He’s wearing dark coloured trousers and a dark black hooded top with a distinctive motif of a tiger or a leopard on the back.
“It’s possible he has a bandage around his right hand or is carrying a small white bag.
“I would appeal to anybody who was in or around the area who has seen anything to please come forward.
“I would also like to hear anybody who has any information about the offender.
“I’m not able to say with any kind of certainty if the suspect was known to the offender.
“The victim was on the way to school. We are looking very closely with the school.
“The girl had been on the bus for a short period of time when the incident occurred.
“There’s no suggestion anyone else has been injured. It appears to have been a very sporadic and quick attack.
“There’s been no arrested made. The male is currently outstanding.
“Please do not approach this male. He’s believed to be dangerous, contact the police immediately.
“The manhunt is obviously crucial to this investigation. I’m confident we will catch the individual who did this.”
“I would urge the public not to approach the man but to immediately dial 999. We have officers ready to respond immediately to sightings.”
Spokesman for National Express West Midlands Jack Kelly said: “We can confirm there was a tragic incident on our number nine service.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with the friends and family of the person involved.
“We will give police every possible support in their investigation into this matter.”
The West Midlands Police spokesperson said: “At 7.37am today (7/3) police received a call from a member of the public reporting that a passenger had been attacked.
“Officers and other emergency services were immediately dispatched but it was clear that nothing could be done to save the victim.
“West Midlands Police have identified the victim’s family and are in the process of breaking the sad news.”
A West Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “West Midlands Ambulance Service can confirm it was called this morning to a medical emergency on board a bus in Hagley Road, Edgbaston shortly after 7.35am.
“A senior paramedic officer in a rapid response vehicle, two BASICS Emergency medics and two ambulance crews attended.
“One person was confirmed dead at the scene.”
The city centre attack comes just a few months after two big issue sellers were stabbed to death in broad daylight in the middle of the city centre.
In May 2001 16-year-old Rosemarie Ross was stabbed to death as she sunbathed in the sunshine in Centenary Square, Birmingham.