Man in his 50s is killed in attack by thieves ‘armed with hammer’ who were ‘trying to steal his Rolex’ – as police launch murder probe

  • A man has died after reportedly being attacked over his designer watch  

A man has died after reportedly being attacked ‘with a hammer’ for his designer watch during a broad daylight robbery at a shopping precinct and police have now launched a murder probe. 

Emergency services were called to the Heath Way, in Shard End, Birmingham, after the victim was found in a critical condition at 2.55pm yesterday. 

Paramedics began administering life support to the man, who has been identified locally as Darren ‘Wiffa’ Smith, but he was confirmed dead at the scene as horrified families with children looked on.

Witnesses said the Mr Smith, believed to be aged in his 50s, was attacked with a hammer or another weapon for his Rolex watch outside the row of shops.

One onlooker, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘A 50-year-old bloke has been attacked with a hammer or something similar for his Rolex.

The victim of the attack has been named locally as Darren Smith 

Police and forensic officers at the scene of a violent fatal attack in Birmingham

Witnesses claim the victim was a man aged in his 50s who had been ‘targeted’

‘It was crazy, there were helicopters overhead and dozens of police and ambulances. All this was happening at the end of the school day.

‘There were kids around, its terrible. A blue ten has since been set up. It doesn’t look good.’

A spokesman for West Midlands Police has confirmed a murder investigation has started. 

A spokesman said: ‘We’ve started a murder investigation after a man sustained fatal head injuries in Birmingham.

‘We were called after a man was found seriously injured after being attacked outside shops in Heath Way, Shard End, just after 2.50pm yesterday.’

Since news of Mr Smith’s death has broken, many friends have paid tribute to his memory. 

One said: ‘Coming home to the hear the shocking news of Darren Wiffa Smith, his life taken over a personal possession. Awful news… rest in peace.’ 

Another said: ‘Absolutely gutted… such a great guy. I’ve got so many funny memories with you Wiffa until we meet again I will treasure them.

‘Rest in eternal peace.’

Tributes have poured in for Mr Smith who was described as a ‘great guy’

Floral tributes have been laid at the scene of the violent fatal attack in Birmingham 

West Midlands Police have launched a murder probe 

West Midlands Ambulance Service said two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance were sent to the scene.

A service spokesperson said: ‘We were called at 2.55pm to an incident on Heath Way, Shard End, Birmingham.

‘Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford attended the scene.

‘Upon arrival, we found a man in a critical condition. Ambulance staff immediately began administering advanced life support to him.

‘Unfortunately, it became clear that nothing more could be done to save him and he was confirmed deceased.’

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