Two traumatised Yeovil residents have spoken of their horror after finding a seriously-injured man dying in the street.
Gary Judd, 42, and Carl Spear, 43, both of Barnabas House, spotted the lifeless figure lying in an alleyway beside Ivel Court, off Newton Road, on Monday afternoon.
The pair rushed over to see if they could help but quickly realised there was nothing they could do.
Ambulance crews arrived at around 4.45pm and rushed the 22-year-old man to Yeovil District Hospital. He later died of head injuries.
Police say investigations are ongoing to determine how he suffered the injuries.
The two men, who live across the road from the alleyway, have been left badly shaken.
Mr Judd, an ex-serviceman, said: “We were walking to the shop and I turned round about three or four minutes later, because I’d left something in my room. That’s when we saw the lad on the ground and a couple of girls standing round him.
“One minute he wasn’t there and the next he was. It was bizarre. I couldn’t believe the scene I had come across. It was horrible. I’m ex-forces and I’ve seen some incidents in my time. I could tell he was dying because of his breathing.
“I felt helpless, there was nothing I could do. I didn’t want to go near him or move him. Everyone was stood around in major shock. Nobody knew who the lad was, they didn’t have a clue. His face was badly injured and no-one recognised him. He definitely wasn’t from Barnabas.”
Police arrived shortly afterwards and closed the road until around 10pm.
Mr Spear, who helped the paramedics lift the man onto a stretcher, said: “It was horrible. I’ve never seen so much blood. It was just horrific. I didn’t recognise the man.”
Yeovil town councillor Tony Fife, paid tribute to the dead man. He said: “Any loss of life is very sad. It must be awful for his family and my thoughts go out to them.”
Mr Judd added: “It’s a tragedy. I wouldn’t want to see anybody go that way. My thoughts are with his family and friends.
“I suffer from post-traumatic distress anyway after being in Afghanistan. It brought back a lot of things to me. I was pretty shaken. It was a very distressing scene.”
Yeovil town councillor Tony Lock said: “For anyone to lose their life in these circumstances is terrible and my immediate thoughts are with his family and friends.”
An Avon and Somerset Police spokeswoman said: “We were called by the ambulance to a man injured at Ivel Court. A 22-year-old was found with head injuries and taken to Yeovil District Hospital where he later died.
“Investigations are ongoing to ascertain how the man came about these injuries. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.”