A 51-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a 12-year-old boy was killed in a hit-and-run outside an Essex secondary school.

The child, who has not yet been named, was among several people mowed down by a car after it reportedly mounted the pavement outside Debden Park High School in Loughton at around 3:20pm.

He later died of his injuries in hospital.

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Officers arrested the man on suspicion of offences including murder and attempted murder.

The arrest came after police appealed for Terry Glover, 51, to come forward in relation to the incident.

A statement from the force said: “A man has been arrested following a fatal collision in Loughton earlier today, Monday 2 December.

“The 51-year-old, from Loughton, was arrested on suspicion of murder, six offences of attempted murder, one offence of causing death by dangerous driving, six offences of causing serious injury by driving, failing to stop at the scene of a collision and driving without insurance.

“There is no wider threat to the public at this time, but we continue to ask anyone with information to come forward and assist with our enquiries.”​

Officers said none of the other people injured, including two 15-year-old boys, a 13-year-old boy, a 16-year-old girl and a 53-year-old woman, are believed to have life-changing or life-threatening injuries. All of the teenagers are thought to be students at the nearby school.

A statement from Debden Park High School’s head Helen Gascoyne said: “As a school and a community we are devastated to say that as a result of the incident in Willingale Road this afternoon, it is with great sadness that we must report that a 12-year-old student from our school has sadly died.

“Our thoughts are with the family and all those affected. As a school we continue to work with the police supporting the ongoing investigation.

“The school will be open tomorrow with a number of counsellors on hand to support our community.”​

Police appealed for 51-year-old Terry Glover to come forward in relation to the incident (PA)

One parent, speaking to The Mirror, claimed the vehicle had mounted the pavement during the incident.

Detective chief inspector Rob Kirby said: “This has been a truly shocking incident and my deepest sympathies are with all those involved.

“I would like to thank the many members of the public who have called us with information and spoken to our officers, as well as those who provided crucial medical assistance at the scene.”

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Inspector Rob Brettell, part of the force’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU), said there would likely be “prolonged and serious investigation” into the circumstances around the death.

Home secretary Priti Patel has offered her support to the police and the school involved following the “utterly devastating” events.

Speaking after an election event in Essex, she said: “I feel so sad and devastated for the parents of this child and also for his friends at school as well, and the teachers. The shock and trauma will just be unimaginable.”

She added: “We just need to give the police the time and space to do what they need to do in terms of the investigation and their inquiries. It is utterly, utterly devastating.”

Additional reporting by PA