Students woke up to the sound of police “banging on doors” after a lady was killed in a hall of residence in Clerkenwell, central London, reports say.
A murder investigation was launched after the woman, 19, died on Saturday in Arbour House, private halls on Sebastian Street by City, University of London.
Metropolitan Police officers were called to the student dwellings around 5.10 am to report a woman “seriously injured”.
Officers and paramedics attended. Attempts were made to save the woman but she was eventually pronounced dead at the scene.
Students living in the 180-room block told local news they were scared for their safety after the incident.
One resident, a 19-year-old finance student who did not want to be named, said the building had lax security which only ran from 12-8 pm on weekdays.
The student added: “I saw the police in the morning and there were helicopters.
“I am completely shocked and obviously traumatized.”
Another student told local news site MyLondon: “I woke up with the cops knocking on my door. I went on a group chat and everyone had a knock as well. We later found out that a lady was killed in a hall of residence in Clerkenwell, central London.
“We’re probably going to ask for more security measures. I hope it’s the first and last time it happens.”
Unite Students, which runs the block, said: “Our priority at this time is the safety and wellbeing of students at Arbour House.”
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Leona Sigmund, 20, a neighbour of the woman who was killed, said: “She was a normal student … I saw her in the hallways but I never really spoke to her.
“Of course, she was nice and was never rude. I didn’t know her personally.”
The woman was said to live on the sixth floor. Arsh Srivastava, a 21-year-old business student, said: “At around 5.45 am I heard a voice that sounded like a grown man.
“I heard the fire alarm go off and I heard someone running out of a background floor exit near where I live.”
The student added: “After that, the police showed up around half an hour later. They have been investigating ever since.
“I heard them talking about someone trying to escape through the hallway door.”
Unite said it was working with the Met and City, University of London.
A spokesperson for the university said: “As a university, we will do everything we can to support our students and staff and we will continue to fully support the police with their investigation.”
Police and forensic investigators remained at the scene. Officers were working to inform the woman’s family.
Chief Inspector Adam Instone said: “I know there will be great sadness and deep concern among the local people and the student community.
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“I share that sadness and concern and I can assure them that a thorough homicide investigation is underway, led by skilled and experienced detectives who will work tirelessly to identify and arrest whoever is responsible.”
Witnesses or any people with information are urged to contact police on 020 8358 1010, call 101 or tweet MetCC and quote CAD1252/19 March.
Information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.