Shocked neighbours say they heard a mum shout "I'm dying" after she was stabbed by her son, who then reportedly killed his girlfriend and himself.
Police have launched an investigation into the apparent double murder suicide, which happened in Belfast on Friday night (March 19).
According to The Irish Independent, Ken Flanagan stabbed his mother Karen, before travelling to another property to kill his girlfriend Stacey Knell.
He is then said to have taken his own life before police arrived on the scene.
Neighbours claim they heard Karen shout: "I'm dying, I'm dying, it's my son!" while she was being stabbed at a property in Newtownabbey, County Antrim.
Days before her death, Karen praised her son for overcoming his battle with drug addiction on social media.
But it is understood that authorities had previously ordered Flanagan to stay away from his mum's house due to violent behaviour.
One neighbour, who did not wish to be named, told The Irish Independent: "I'm still in shock. It's so awful I just can't believe it.
"As a parent it's your worst nightmare. I would have seen Stacey around here with her wee pup sometimes, it's just so sad.
"It's just really horrific but there has always sort of been trouble at that wee house. Generally it's just really quiet around here apart from that place."
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Mother-of-one Stacey Knell is survived by a nine-year-old daughter and Karen Flanagan is also survived by a daughter.
Stacey's devastated friends have taken to social media to pay tribute to her.
On Facebook, Melissa Morrison wrote: "I was in shock and today I just feel numb and emotional you had your whole life ahead off you with your daughter.
"Can't get your wee daughter, your mum, the boys and your wee sister out off my head and what there going through.
"Everyone who knew you loved you. Fly high beautiful."
Jordan Gallagher wrote: "There’s a big dark cloud over East Belfast today! A young life taken far too soon!
"One of my lifelong childhood friends. We fought like cat and dog but never fell out."
Police Service Northern Ireland have not confirmed the names of the victims, but Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell said he believes the attacks are "connected".
"While we have launched a murder investigation, we are not looking for anyone else in connection with these incidents," he said.
"Just after 10.55pm on Friday evening, police received a report of a stabbing at a residential property in the Derrycoole Way area.
"Officers attended. Sadly, a woman has been pronounced dead.
“As officers carried out further enquiries, they attended a residential property in the Glenville Road area. An unconscious male was located in the property.
"Despite the provision of first aid, the male was pronounced dead. On searching the property, another deceased female was located."
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
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