A TYNESIDE man was stabbed to death when a drinks party turned to violence in the early hours of yesterday.
The victim, 20, was discovered covered in blood in the living room of a house in Sledmere Close, Peterlee, County Durham, shortly before 3am.
Neighbours said they heard a loud scream before a car drove off at high speed.
Police swooped on the scene in a blaze of flashing blue lights, arresting two women, aged 24 and 20, at the semi-detached house.
Six hours later police arrested a 19-year-old man at a house in Holywell Avenue, Walker, Newcastle.
A cordon surrounded the house in Peterlee yesterday while officers in forensic suits examined the scene.
Alison O’Hara, a 44-year-old mother-of-five who lives opposite the murder scene, said: “I heard a scream at about 2.30am and then a few minutes later I heard a car being driven away.
“All of a sudden the street was full of blue flashing lights as the police and ambulance arrived.”
Another neighbour, who preferred not to be named, said police were searching the grass in front of the house in the early hours.
A spokesman for Durham Constabulary confirmed a murder investigation had been launched. He said: “Shortly before 3am on Sunday the emergency services were called to an incident at a house in Sledmere Close, Peterlee.
“When police and paramedics arrived they found a 20-year-old man in the living room, covered in blood after apparently having received multiple stab wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Two women, aged 24 and 20 were arrested at the house and police began enquiries to trace a third person thought to have been present at the time. Shortly before 9am officers from Northumbria Police, acting on behalf of their colleagues in Durham, arrested a 19-year-old man at an address in Holywell Avenue, Walker.
“He and the two women are being held on suspicion of murder. The spokesman added a man and a woman were also arrested at the house in Walker on suspicion of assisting an offender. They are currently in custody on Tyneside.
An incident room has been established at Peterlee police station under the supervision of senior investigating officer Det Supt Ken Donnelly.
A post-mortem was scheduled to take place last night to determine a formal cause of death.
Det Chief Insp Steve Chapman said it is believed all those involved knew each other, and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
The incident room can be reached by calling 0345 6060 365.