A schoolboy has been killed in a stabbing in a field as police and emergency services surround the scene.
Police believe the youngster was attacked by two or three males, who fled the scene in Emmer Green, near Reading, Berks, after the stabbing.
Murder squad detectives from the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Team were drafted in after the knife attack which happened shortly after dusk today.
A massive police cordon was thrown up around Gravel Hill Road, Emmer Green, which backs onto a popular golf course.
Senior detectives, forensic science officers and uniformed police were called in after the alarm was raised to the stabbing.
A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “Thames Valley Police has this evening launched a murder investigation following the death of a 13-year-old boy in Emmer Green, Reading.
“Officers were called at 3.50pm to reports of a stabbing in Bugs Bottom fields, near to St Barnabus Road, Gravel Hill, Emmer Green. Tragically, a 13-year-old boy died of his injuries at the scene.
“The victim’s next of kin are aware and are being supported by specially trained officers but at present, no formal identification has taken place.”
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Kevin Brown, head of Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Unit, said: “This is a fast-moving and dynamic investigation, which is ongoing.
“We are in the very early stages of this investigation but we believe that the victim was attacked by two or three males, who made off after the incident in the direction of Hunters Chase.
“There will be a very considerable police presence in the area of St Barnabus Road and Gravel Hill for a number of days and we have a very large scene-watch in place.
“I would appeal to anybody who was in Gravel Hill this afternoon and believes that they witnessed anything that could help this investigation to please make contact with police if you have not already done so.
“This is an area that is used extensively by dog walkers, and I believe that there will have been witnesses to this dreadful incident, or who may have seen the offenders leaving the area quickly.
“I would ask anybody who was driving or cycling in the area and has either a dash-cam or a head-cam to please check the footage between 3pm and 4.30pm, and get in touch if it has captured anything that may assist this investigation.”
Officers and plain-clothed detectives were carrying out house-to-house inquiries within the police cordon.
Senior officers from the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Team were involved in a briefing to establish early details of what had happened.
No arrests have currently been made.
Emmer Green is an upmarket suburb of Reading and north of the River Thames and a popular commuter village.