'Really loving dad' quizzed over knife killing rampage

Jennifer Cockerel

A man suspected of killing six people, including his wife and two young children, has been described by friends as a "really good father".

The 30-year-old man, named locally as Damian Rzeszowski, is believed to have been suicidal over the breakdown of his marriage before going on a knife rampage in Jersey.

His wife, named as Izabela Rzeszowski, is believed to be among his victims, along with her father, known only as Marek, her friend Marta de la Haye, and her own five-year-old daughter Julia.

Mr Rzeszowski's children were named by members of the Polish community visiting the murder scene at Victoria Crescent, Upper Midvale Road, St Helier, as a son named Kacper and a daughter called Kinga.

Mr Rzeszowski, who is believed to have turned the knife on himself, remains under police guard at Jersey General Hospital as police wait to question him.


Police believe he may not be well enough to be spoken to for some time.

Neighbours reported seeing Izabela Rzeszowski run out of her flat as a man chased her with a knife in hand.

"The man was running after her, screaming in Polish. Suddenly he grabbed her with his left hand and began stabbing her in the back, again and again," said Alex Wambua, a supervisor at a nearby supermarket. "She was not screaming. She had her mouth open but no noise came out."

Ms Rzeszowski had arrived back in Jersey from a holiday in Poland with her children only hours before they were killed.

Her husband had reportedly tried to kill himself last month because of problems with their relationship.

At a Mass held last night at a church in the village of St Martin, near Jersey's capital, family friend Marlena Bartus (27) described them as "almost the perfect family".

Mrs Bartus said she had not seen the family since last September but had always been touched by how happy they were. "They were a lovely family, lovely kids. They were almost the perfect family," she said.

"The way we had seen him, he was a really good father. We spent two hours with them, it was a lovely atmosphere."

Her husband Jakub Bartus (35) added: "It is so sad, this is something that should not happen.

"There are lots of questions that need to be answered. It's such a tragedy. I can't understand why the kids were involved. This is not about them, they are innocent."

Police chief Mike Bowron called for local communities to remain "dignified and calm" as he said all the victims, who have not been named, were from Poland and four were from the same family.

"Jersey is an incredibly safe place, one of the safest in the western world, and incidents of this nature are exceptionally rare," he said in a statement.

"It makes such a tragedy even more difficult for people to come to terms with. Inevitably, perhaps, such an incident will raise tensions locally and I would appeal to everyone to remain calm and dignified and allow my officers to continue with what is a complex, demanding and difficult investigation."