Three men have been arrested 160 miles away in Devon for the suspected murder of a man outside a shopping precinct in the Shard End area of Birmingham.

50-year-old dad Darren Smith was allegedly ambushed and killed by men armed with a “hammer” on Wednesday afternoon.

Three male suspects – aged 31, 35 and 53 – were taken into custody by police in Devon on Thursday (16 March) and brought back to the West Midlands for questioning over the killing of victim Smith.

Lee O’Brien, aged 53, Luke O’Brien, 35, and Lewis O’Brien, 31, all from Birmingham, have been remanded to appear before Birmingham Magistrates Court on 18 March.

Shard End attack

The disturbing attack took place  on 15 March just after 2:50pm, at a shopping centre in Heath Way, Shard End.

Emergency services arrived at the scene – police, paramedics, and helicopter air ambulance – but Smith sustained such horrific injuries to his head that he died shortly afterwards despite the best efforts of paramedics.

A blue tent was set up and a cordon placed around the scene of the murder.

A police spokesperson, said: “We understand he may have been the victim of a robbery but we’re continuing to keep an open mind around the motive for the attack.”

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