Teenagers who attended the party at which 18-year-old Kellon Hill was stabbed dead have described for the first time the terrifying moment a quiet party turned to bloodshed.

Partygoers told how they saw a group of youngsters - one thought to be as young as 14 - set upon Kellon when he refused to give up the chain they had snatched from around his neck. One eyewitness said that Kellon, who was due to leave the island this week to go to college, was killed with a screwdriver - and that one of those involved appeared to be a teenage girl.

Lead officers yesterday issue an appeal to parents to help cut down the growing menace of bladed weapons on Bermuda's streets. Police said that parents should be aware that teenagers are increasingly arming themselves with screwdrivers and kitchen knives taken from the home.

Kellon was killed on Saturday, just before midnight, as he was leaving Elbow Beach, where a friend of his was holding a leaving party. At least 20 teenagers spent the evening chatting around a fire. Detectives have been interviewing partygoers about what they saw.

One eyewitness said: "It had been a normal quiet party: no conflict at all. Everyone at the party was friends, or at least knew one another. I was leaving at the same time as Kellon. He was about to go home. He was sitting on his bike - the engine was running.

"I was walking up towards the road and walked passed some boys I recognized but who hadn't been at the party. I looked back and saw one of them go up to Kellon and snatch his chain. He ran after them and then they were hitting him in the head. I saw Kellon fall down. He got back up again but then he fell down and didn't move. He just passed out. I guess when he got up he didn't know he'd been stabbed. I was down the hill, and thought they were just hitting him, but then people said he had been stabbed. I went over - there were girls standing over him but they couldn't get any reaction from him. It was horrible. It was scary. It made me feel sick. We'd been at this party and everyone was having a nice time and then Kellon is on the floor bleeding and the police and ambulance are there."

Another teenager said: "We were at the top of the hill; Kellon came running up and he's got blood all over his shirt. Someone was hitting him with a cane, and the cane broke. He fought off one guy, and he was holding off another, and then [another attacker] came round with a screwdriver and stabbed him. We saw him fall to the ground. Then they [the attackers] ran off; I saw one of them run down towards the beach."

Police said yesterday that they were unable to confirm any of these eyewitness details until an autopsy had been completed in full.

Warning

Six teenagers were arrested the day after the murder and that a seventh - a teenage girl - was arrested on Monday. Superintendent Randy Liverpool issued a warning to parents that a potential murder weapon may be sat in a kitchen drawer or in the tool shed. He said: "More and more we are coming across youths with bladed articles: knives, screwdrivers and what have you. It would appear to have started to become more prevalent for youths to carry weapons around. Bermuda isn't the only jurisdiction to be experiencing this trend. In London, the Caribbean, this is a growing problem."

He continued: "Parents need more communication with their teenagers, to know what they are doing, where they are going. What's happening is that a lot of teenagers are taking knives from the kitchen. Parents have to miss their knives. Parents should check for any of their bladed instruments going missing."

Recent legislation set a mandatory prison sentence of three years for anyone caught with a bladed article. Supt. Liverpool said that he imagined the legislation had been a deterrent, but that he had no way of telling if the law had been effective. Police can only stop and search someone for a weapon if they have cause to believe an individual is armed or intends to cause violence at a particular event. Supt. Liverpool said that random stop and searches would be "arbitrary" and unfair.

Chief Inspector Andrew Boyce, who is leading the investigation, said that he did not want to speculate on how many fatal wounds Kellon received, or what weapon was used, until a full autopsy has been completed. He said that a "comprehensive" search had been conducted not just of the murder scene but of gardens and streets in a wide surrounding area. He said that a number of objects had been recovered: some had been dismissed, others held for full forensic examination. "We have picked up all sorts of items," he said. "Whether any of them are relevant to the investigation, we really can't say at this stage."

There are seven people in custody in connection with the attack but no-one had been charged at the time of going to press last night.