The police have said that the suspect arrested over Friday’s brutal murder of two women at a Diamond Hill shopping mall was a 39-year-old jobless man with a history of mental illness. During a media briefing in the early hours of Saturday, officers said there was no evidence that the suspect knew his victims.

flowers at the Diamond Hill mall murder
People lay flowers at the Diamond Hill mall following Friday’s double stabbing. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

Senior Superintendent Chung Lai-yee of the Kowloon East Regional Headquarters said the man stabbed one of the women repeatedly, before stabbing her companion, who had tried to intervene.

The two victims – aged 23 and 26 – were sent to United Christian Hospital in an unconscious state, police told HKFP on Friday. The pair were declared dead after arriving, at around 6.06pm and 6.47pm.

flowers at the Diamond Hill mall murder
People at the Diamond Hill mall following Friday’s double stabbing. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

Senior Inspector Hui Ham-fong told the press: “The motive of this suspect is one of our most important police investigations… For the relationship, actually, there is no concrete evidence to support that the suspect has any acquaintance with the two victims.”

Saturday's police press briefing
Saturday’s police press briefing on the mall murder case. Photo: Police screenshot, via Facebook.

The attacker had reportedly purchased a 12-inch knife from a shop at the Plaza Hollywood mall.

The Social Welfare Department and home affairs chief Alice Mak have urged the public not to share videos of the incident circulating online. Local tabloids have posted graphic clips.

flowers at the Diamond Hill mall murder
People at the Diamond Hill mall following Friday’s double stabbing. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

HKFP witnessed people laying remembrance flowers at the mall on Saturday.

In a statement on Saturday afternoon, Chief Executive John Lee said: “I am saddened by the murder that took place at Plaza Hollywood in Diamond Hill yesterday evening, and I extend my deep condolences to the families of the two deceased.”

He added: “Noting that members of the public may feel uneased and worried, especially as videos of the incident were widely circulated online, I urge everyone in the community to stop sharing the videos, and to extend care to family members and friends. Members of the public are advised to seek professional support if they experience any emotional distress.”

The overall crime rate in the first quarter of this year has increased by 48.4 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Correction 30/8/23: A previous version of this article mistakenly referred to Alice Mak as a lawmaker. She is a former lawmaker, now home affairs chief. We regret the error.

💡If you are in need of support, please call: The Samaritans 2896 0000 (24-hour, multilingual), Suicide Prevention Centre 2382 0000 or the Social Welfare Department 2343 2255. The Hong Kong Society of Counselling and Psychology provides a WhatsApp hotline in English and Chinese: 6218 1084. See also: HKFP’s comprehensive guide to mental health services in Hong Kong.

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Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.