NEIGHBOURS have described their shock as two murder suspects tried to escape though their gardens.

Police were called to Stafford Road, Brighton in the early hours of this morning.

A man in his 40s was stabbed in a ground floor flat, and died in hospital at 3.50am.

Two men escaped via the rear of the property as officers rammed the door at the front.

Residents in Stafford Road and Exeter Street were awoken at 2am by police launching a manhunt.

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One man in Stafford Road said: "At the time I was thinking that someone was breaking into my house, that is your initial thought when you get disturbed in the night.

"I looked out of the window and saw a man crawling along my garden wall.

"At first I thought he was trying to break in somewhere. I asked him 'what are you doing?' But he did not reply.

The Argus:

"He jumped down into the garden next door, so I phoned the police.

"From what I could hear, police confronted him. They found him and said he needed to put his hands where they could see them.

"They asked him whether he had a weapon, and threatened to Taser or spray him if he did not comply."

The terraced houses in the street mean that the suspects had to flee over each garden in order to escape.

On a video recording shared by residents, one man reportedly told police "don't hurt me, I'm not dangerous".

The resident added: "We have been a bit freaked out by this, it is shocking.

"This is a friendly and quiet neighbourhood, we don't have much in the way of trouble or police incidents. 

"Hearing the news of the murder makes it even more shocking."

Another resident in the street said she looked out of the window to see police going door to door to gain access to people's gardens.

One woman said: "I didn't think it was that kind of road. We all came out, there was no way we could have slept through that.

"But police were not saying anything.

"We heard the helicopter overhead. It was scary, we did not know if the man had been caught."

Police said a 44-year-old man and a 45-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, and remain in police custody today.

A man in his 40s was pronounced dead at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, and has yet to be identified.

Police are appealing for information about the incident and the deceased. Anyone with information is asked to report it on the Sussex Police website or call 101 and quote Operation Barnfield.