A 14-year-old boy was stabbed at least seven times in the back after being deliberately knocked off his moped as London suffered another murder in 2019.
Police are investigating whether the street killing in Waltham Forest, North East London, during rush hour last night was motivated by a row between rival gangs.
Officers were called shortly before 6.30pm yesterday following reports of a road crash between a moped rider and a car and found the teenager stabbed in the road.
Detectives believe three men got out of the car and knifed the victim before returning to it and speeding off. The boy was pronounced dead shortly after 7pm.
The murder is London’s fourth of the year so far after less than ten days of 2019 – and follows 12 months of bloodshed in the capital which saw 134 homicides committed.
On Saturday, Sarah Ashraf, 35, was found dead in a flat on the Isle of Dogs, East London, and her 32-year-old brother Khalid has been charged with her murder.
Charlotte Huggins, 33, became the first murder victim in London this year and died from a single stab wound in a house in Camberwell at 4.50am on New Year’s Day.
Half an hour later bouncer Tudor Simionov, 33, was stabbed to death outside a VIP ‘sex party’ in Park Lane, Mayfair.
Separately, Darren Pencille, 35, is accused of killing 51-year-old Lee Pomeroy in front of his 14-year-old son on a London-bound train as it passed through Surrey on Friday.
The Waltham Forest murder has shocked the local community. Paramedics made a desperate attempt to save the teenager but he died soon after they arrived.
One local resident, who did not want to be named, told BBC News that crime was getting worse in the area and she was hoping to move away.
She said: ‘I think it’s ridiculous. Every year, every month, something’s happening – all these killings. I have kids and I don’t see them growing up here.’
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘Despite efforts of paramedics, he was declared dead at 7.09pm. Next of kin have been informed.
‘A crime scene is in place. The homicide and major crime team has been informed. There have been no arrests. Enquiries continue.’
One man, who did not want to be named, described how a witness came into the premises where he works nearby, clearly horrified by what they had seen.
He told how the witness informed him how the teenager who was on the moped was struck by the car which was travelling in the opposite direction.
He said: ‘They said they knocked him off the moped and got out of the car and they stabbed him seven times – there were unsurvivable wounds in his back.’
The man added that the witness recalled how the boy was possibly unconscious when he was stabbed, with his helmet thrown up to 30ft away.
The man added: ‘He thought it was an accident, that somebody had knocked someone, but then he said they quickly came [out of the car]. They beat him up, and they stabbed him, and they left.’
A worker at the nearby Raw Gym told Mailonline that he had seen a mobile phone video of the victim lying in the road.
‘It looked like he has been stabbed two or three times in the back’, he said. ‘This guy who comes into the gym sometimes had got it on his phone.
‘I saw on the phone that the police were trying to help the kid and he had been stabbed in the back. The wounds were very big.’
He said he understood the victim had been knocked from his moped by a car and then attacked.
Another local said there had been trouble between local gangs, mainly the ‘Beaumont Crew’ and their ‘OC’ (Oliver Close) rivals.
‘They fight regularly. There’s loads of knives being carried around. It ain’t safe to be walking around here at night either.’
Residents who live on Bickley Road said they did not hear any shouting or screaming.
They said it was not until they saw the blue flashing lights from the emergency services that they knew something had happened.
Police are in the early stages of the investigation with forensic teams at the scene, but are likely to consider whether gang rivalry might have played a part in the murder.
Stella Creasy, who has been MP for the London constituency of Walthamstow since the 2010 general election, tweeted her condolences this evening.
She said: ‘Walthamstow devastated to report a young boy – just 14 – has lost his life in our community tonight. This terrible event on Bickley Road has only just been confirmed.
‘At moment that is all the info I have – anyone with evidence or info on tonight’s incident please do call 101.’
Then later this evening, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, tweeted to say: ‘I’m greatly saddened by news of the fatal stabbing of a 14 year old in Waltham Forest, and my thoughts are with his family and friends.
‘I encourage anyone with information about this horrific incident to contact the Police on 101 or phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.’
The shock incident comes just days after an 18-year-old man was found with stab wounds at Blackhorse Road station in Walthamstow.
He was rushed to hospital following the incident on Sunday where his condition was said to be ‘serious’.
Scotland Yard released figures in December showing the number of people killed in the capital hit a ten-year high in 2018, with more than a fifth of victims being children and teenagers.
Last year, 134 killings were recorded by the Metropolitan Police, which included 24 in which the victims were 19 or under.
Of those, 18 were stabbed, five were shot and one woman died from head injuries.
It was the highest total since 2008, when 155 were killed.