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Police launch murder hunt as teenager 'is stabbed to death' at friend's 18th birthday party

Eddie O'Rourke (pictured), 18, has been named locally as the victim of a stabbing in Runcorn, Cheshire. He had been attending an '18th birthday party' at the local Royal British Legion.

A teenager who is believed to have been stabbed to death at an 18th birthday party has been named locally, as police launch a murder investigation.

Tributes have been flooding in for Eddie O'Rourke, who is thought to have been knifed while attending a party at the Halton Royal British Legion Club in Runcorn, Cheshire.

Police raced to the scene at around 8.30pm last night following reports of a 'disturbance'. 

Police have launched a murder investigation after Eddie O'Rourke (left) died at an 18th birthday party in Runcorn, Cheshire 

Police have launched a murder investigation after Eddie O'Rourke (left) died at an 18th birthday party in Runcorn, Cheshire 

Tributes have been flooding in for 18-year-old Eddie O'Rourke (pictured) who died last night. One person wrote on Facebook: 'Sleep tight Eddie kid. One of the most politest and well mannered lads I've ever come across.'

Tributes have been flooding in for 18-year-old Eddie O'Rourke (pictured) who died last night. One person wrote on Facebook: 'Sleep tight Eddie kid. One of the most politest and well mannered lads I've ever come across.'

Chelsie O'Rourke changed her profile picture on Facebook this morning to an image of her and Eddie

Chelsie O'Rourke changed her profile picture on Facebook this morning to an image of her and Eddie

Tributes have been left at the scene, and dozens of tributes have also been left online for the teenager

Tributes have been left at the scene, and dozens of tributes have also been left online for the teenager

They found the teen with a 'serious injury' but despite being rushed to hospital by ambulance, he later died.  

Cheshire Police have now arrested three boys aged 17, 16 and 15 from the Runcorn area, on suspicion of murder.

Detective Inspector Adam Waller, of Cheshire Police's Major Investigation Team, said: 'Enquiries into the incident are ongoing and we are working incredibly hard to establish the exact circumstances of what happened.

'Three teenage boys from Runcorn – aged 17, 16 and 15 – have been arrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the incident. 

'I would like to reassure the community that, at this stage, this is believed to be an isolated incident.

'Local officers remain in the area to provide reassurance to the community and anyone with any issues or concerns is urged to speak to them.'  

Josh Christian shared an image of the teenager with a candle in the background and the words 'Sleep tight Eddie O'Rourke'

Josh Christian shared an image of the teenager with a candle in the background and the words 'Sleep tight Eddie O'Rourke'

Dozens have been taking to social media to share tributes for the youngster.

Karen Richardson wrote on Facebook: 'So so sad, R.I.P Eddie, only two years and two days after your dad's anniversary. 

'Devastating what your family are going through, thinking of them all.'

While Paulajane Keeley said: 'Heartbreaking for so many families around Liverpool and around the country. What's going on with the kids of today.'

Chelsie O'Rourke has changed her profile picture on Facebook to an image of Eddie.

Captioning the picture, she said: 'My Eddie, we will get justice for you. I love you always from your Chel.'

Josh Christian shared an image of the teenager with a candle in the background and the words 'Sleep tight Eddie O'Rourke'. 

Many have spoken of  their encounters with the youngster.

Bobbi-Jo Dowling said: 'Sleep tight Eddie kid. One of the most politest and well mannered lads I've ever come across.

'Credit to his family, thoughts are with them all. Gone far too soon lad.'

While Joanne Fraser said: 'An innocent 18th party. How sad. Rip thoughts with family' 

Cheshire Police is currently supporting the family with specialist officers.    

Many have questioned why there was a knife at the party.

Christine Stephenson said: 'What are the idiots doing with a knife at a party? Looking for a fight. So sad.

While Chelsea Ashman said: 'No more knife crime. My heart is with all of the O'Rourkes for their tragic loss'.

Writing last night, Lisa Lowe said: '18 years old and stabbed to death tonight. Far too young to die. Knife crime needs stopping, and stopping now.'

Police have set up a cordon around the Royal British Legion in Halton, Runcorn. Cheshire police launched a murder investigation last night following a reported 'disturbance' 

Police have set up a cordon around the Royal British Legion in Halton, Runcorn. Cheshire police launched a murder investigation last night following a reported 'disturbance' 

Tributes have been flooding in for Eddie O'Rourke with many labeling the news 'devastating'. Others, who knew the teenager, have shared their sympathies with the family (Above and below)

Tributes have been flooding in for Eddie O'Rourke with many labeling the news 'devastating'. Others, who knew the teenager, have shared their sympathies with the family (Above and below)

She went on to say: 'Honestly don't know what the world is coming to. RIP Eddie O'Rourke, thoughts are with your family and friends.' 

More tributes are being left this afternoon, Jackie Daintry said: 'Your child goes to a party come home in a body back. How cruel this world. 

'To get that dreaded knock on door. My god my heart goes out to his poor parents. My prayers and thought for them all rip young man taken well before your time.' 

According to eyewitnesses, as reported in the Liverpool Echo, bar staff had tried to break up a fight inside the Royal British Legion before the brawl was taken outside. 

Cards have been left at the scene of the stabbing with one saying the teenager will be 'truly missed'

Cards have been left at the scene of the stabbing with one saying the teenager will be 'truly missed'

Another mourner, who signed her card India, said the Eddie O'Rourke: 'Hope you're watching down on your family.'

Another mourner, who signed her card India, said the Eddie O'Rourke: 'Hope you're watching down on your family.'

The witness, who asked not to be named, said: 'There was an 18th birthday party being held in the big room next door and a fight broke out, with a load of kids shouting and fighting.

'The bar staff tried to break it up, but it continued outside and a lot of other people came out.

'Then all of a sudden I heard someone shouting a lad's name and then 'wake up.'

'It all happened really quickly.'

Several have already been to pay tribute to the teenager this morning. 

Police were called to a 'disturbance' at the Halton Royal British Legion (pictured) on Castle Road in Runcorn at around 8.30pm  yesterday but on arrival found an 18-year-old had sustained a serious injury

Police were called to a 'disturbance' at the Halton Royal British Legion (pictured) on Castle Road in Runcorn at around 8.30pm  yesterday but on arrival found an 18-year-old had sustained a serious injury

The incident took place at Halton Royal British Legion (pictured) in Runcorn, Cheshire. The town is around 18 miles away from Liverpool

The incident took place at Halton Royal British Legion (pictured) in Runcorn, Cheshire. The town is around 18 miles away from Liverpool

Steven Hanaghan, 20, said he had been mates with the victim for years, reports the Liverpool Echo.

He said: 'He didn't deserve it. He was the nicest, kindest person you'll ever meet. He would do anything for anyone.

'For something like this to happen, it's not fair. We've always been mates and I just want justice for him.'

Launching the murder investigation, police appealed for witnesses or anyone with dashcam footage from the area at the time to contact investigators.

Detective Inspector Adam Waller said: 'We are in the very early stages of piecing together the events of tonight.

'Enquiries are ongoing and I urge anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information that may help our investigation to get in touch.

'I am keen to hear from anyone who was driving along Main Street or Castle Road at around 8.30pm and thinks they may have dashcam footage of the incident or anything else that may aid our investigation.'

Police are yet to confirm if a knife was involved in the 'disturbance'.  

Anyone with information is asked to call Cheshire Police on 101, quoting IML 177899, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

They can submit dashcam footage at www.cheshire.police.uk/advice-and-support/roads-and-vehicle-safety/submit-dashca m-footage.

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