A major murder investigation is underway in the town centre today after a man died following an early morning altercation in High Street
The incident occurred in the residential part of the street close to the town centre at around 4.30 am.
A 35-year-old local man was taken to Southampton General Hospital with severe head injuries but later died.
A post mortem examination will be conducted by a Home Office pathologist either later today or tomorrow and two men in their twenties have been arrested and are currently in custody.
Meanwhile shoppers arriving at the Swan Centre via the Blenheim Rd entrance today have been surprised to find High St cordoned off as a murder scene.
Police say the street will be closed for a considerable amount of time today to allow the crime scene to be forensically examined.
Police Officers at the scene have also speaking to residents to provide reassurance.
The investigating officer leading the enquiry, Detective Superintendent Paul Barton said:
“We want to reassure local residents that this appears to be an isolated incident, and if they have any concerns to come forward and speak to officers who will be in the area today.
“We will be studying CCTV from the area, and we urge anyone who witnessed this incident or has any information which could help us to come forward and speak to us as soon as possible.
“We believe it is possible that one of the suspects may have lost their footwear during the altercation and we would ask that if any local residents find any shoes discarded in their garden or along the road from the route along the High Street to Chestnut Avenue to please just contact us and we will collect them.”
Anyone who has information which can assist this investigation is urged to call 101 and quote ‘Operation Bedale’.
Alternatively, information can be left anonymously with Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.