Locals have told of their shock after the killing of a 33-year-old man in a Gorse Hill field.

A large crime scene remained in place yesterday, with all entrances to the field off May Close cordoned off while officers work on the murder probe.

The victim, who has not been named by the police, was stabbed on Sunday at 2.15pm, suffering a single knife wound.

Chief inspector Nick Mawson thanked those who attempted to save his life and reassured people that it was an isolated incident.

One resident, who has lived 18 years in the area and did not want to be named, said her daughter informed her of the incident.

“She just said to me ‘have you got your door locked?’. I said yes. I couldn’t believe what happened, it’s quite a shock.

“It’s the first time anything like that happened. We had robberies and different stuff going on but nothing like that. It’s a pretty quiet area.”

Another woman, who lives close to where forensic teams set up a large white tent, said: “The police and the forensics were out there on Sunday. It was a shock to think it was just there.

“It’s always been a nice area. I don’t go through that path very often. I walk through sometimes, but I wouldn’t be going through there on my own now.”

Flowers were left at the scene yesterday morning.

Another local woman added: “We had a neighbour who told us what happened.

“We occasionally have hooligans up and down the path on a motorbike or something.

“We were surprised when we heard the news, and I only found out this morning that the person had died.

“We were always walking up and down that path. It’s a shock. It’s sort of a bit close to home.”

A dog walker, who has lived in the area for the past eight years said she still feels safe.

She added: “May Close is usually really quiet. I feel safe.

“My son rang me, and said ‘if you’re thinking of taking the dog for a walk, don’t, because it’s all cordoned off’. And last night one of my neighbours, she rang to tell me what had happened.”

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Chief Inspector Nick Mawson said this type of behaviour “will be met with a robust response”.

He said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim at this difficult time and we have dedicated officers in place to provide the support they need.

“We understand the concern and distress this will cause, along with the ongoing investigation into the shooting in Toothill on Saturday evening.

“We would like to reassure them that we do not believe there to be a wider threat to the public and we have increased our patrols of the area to provide reassurance.”

Wiltshire Police launched a murder enquiry on Sunday, and said they are continuing their enquiries at a “rapid pace” by speaking to witnesses, looking at CCTV and exploring forensic opportunities.

Ch Insp Mawson added: “We are running a major incident room at Gablecross and urge anyone with information to call us immediately on 101.

“We have been and will continue to work closely with our partners and the community to protect the public and target those intent on causing harm and make it clear that this behaviour is totally unacceptable.”

Ch Insp Mawson told the Adver they cannot confirm the identity of the victim as the forensic post-mortem is still ongoing.

He added: “This is an extreme incident. There is loss of life here sadly. That is isolated and we are working very closely with our partners and the community to work with young people to make sure these sort of things doesn’t happen.”

No arrests have been made.