The family of a 23-year-old man killed in a series of stabbings in Birmingham, England, on Sunday paid a “loving tribute” to their relative via West Midlands police on Tuesday.
“He was a funny, caring, and wonderful person who was loved by every single person he met,” the family said.
“He lit up every room with his boundless energy and witty humor and the loss of such a special person will be felt by all who knew him for years to come.”
West Midlands police said that Billington, whose 23-year-old friend was also a victim of the stabbings, was killed by a single stab wound to the neck while out with former school friends who were visiting another friend in Birmingham.
The police expressed sympathy for Billington’s family and friends, and for those of the other victims of the attacks.
“Our thoughts and sympathies are with Jacob’s family and friends after receiving such shocking news, particularly for those who were sharing their night out with him,” Chief Superintendent Steve Graham said.
Man Charged with MurderLate on Tuesday, West Midlands police announced they had charged Zephaniah McLeod, the 27-year-old man arrested in the early hours of Monday morning, with the murder of Billington.
McLeod is also accused of the attempted murder of seven other people and will appear before Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday morning, police said.
Three of the other victims remain in hospital, two in a critical condition, while the other four have been discharged.
CriticismThe police were criticized on Monday for their handling of the Birmingham stabbings, including for not releasing CCTV footage of the suspect quickly enough.
“Where was the monitoring? Both the public and police were put at further risk,” Mahmood said.
West Midlands police and crime commissioner David Jamieson defended the police operation.
“What we had initially in the first few hours was a very broad description of the person, but of course thousands of people in Birmingham look like that, it’s not very helpful putting out that rather broad description, we need to have something more specific,” he said.
West Midlands police said, detectives “worked around the clock securing CCTV footage” before arresting a 27-year-old man at his home address in the Selly Oak area of Birmingham.
‘Ill-informed Critique’“Engaging in an ill-informed critique of this investigation, particularly at such an early stage, is both unhelpful and simply makes the job of the police harder,” he said.
Thompson said West Midlands police “will not be engaging further on discussions on these matters.” They did not respond to a request for comment by the time of this report.
Police also said that two other men and a woman were arrested at the same address on suspicion of assisting an offender. All have been released pending an investigation.
The motive of the attacks is still unclear.