SHOCKED residents living on the picturesque Garrison estate have branded a violent attack which left a teenager fighting for his life as “unimaginable”.

Police and emergency services cordoned off a large part of the Shoebury Garrison yesterday as a major investigation was launched into a knife attack on a teenager shortly before midnight on Sunday.

Residents living on the estate, which housed military personnel for 150 years before eventually being sold to developers and transformed into plush homes with Thames Estuary views, admitted it is a “huge shock”.

Nick Penny, 71, has been living on the estate for two decades.

He said: “I’m from Basildon and London so I’m used to these things, but this is Shoebury at the end of the day. You don’t expect it to happen here.

“When something like this happens at your doorstep, it is a bit worrying and quite sad.

“I don’t feel unsafe because this feels like a targeted attack.”

Like Nick, most residents also believe those who were involved in the attack do not live on the estate.

A woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “I think they were outsiders because it seems like they weren’t really familiar with the area.

“They tried to escape but didn’t know that this is a closed off society and there’s no way out other than the entrances.

“I still feel safe despite the attack because I believe this is an isolated incident.”

Another resident, James, 28, said it was “unimaginable” that something like this occurred in the area.

He said: “I used to live in central Southend where this happens all the time and we moved here to get away from that.

“We didn’t expect anything like this here.”

Shoebury ward councillor Judith McMahon sent her best wishes to the victim in the incident and is planning to visit residents on the estate today.

Speaking yesterday evening, she said: “I express my utmost concern for everyone involved in this incident.

“I hope that the necessary institutions have all the tools necessary to bring this matter to a swift end.

“I will be going to the site tomorrow to see how residents are doing.”