Tanis BhandariPLYMOUTH, UK – Two men have been charged after an argument outside of a pub left 27-year-old Tanis Bhanderi dead in an unprovoked ax attack.

Bhandari was leaving a sleepy village pub, the Kings Arms, with a group of friends after celebrating the New Year when friends say a female member of the group was harassed by two men for a cigarette.

When she refused, Bhanderi stood in front of her to protect her, then was viciously attacked with an ax and a kitchen knife. Bhandari was pronounced dead at Derriford hospital. Two other people were treated for knife wounds.

Police recovered an ax from the scene, and are still looking for the knife allegedly used in the assault. Police had already been called to the pub after a man was spotted carrying an ax and a knife, then received further calls about “a major disturbance.”

Ryan Williams, 21, and Donald Pemberton, 20, have been arrested on suspicion of murder, and police continue to comb the scene for evidence. In a statement from Devon and Cornwall Police, says:

“The evidence gathered so far points to this being an indiscriminate attack on a group of innocent young men, resulting in a tragic outcome,” said Detective Superintendent Jim Colwell. “It is just unfortunate they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. This could have happened to anybody.”

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