Two young men, including a teenager, were stabbed to death within half a mile of each other in a night of knife violence.
A 17-year-old boy died in the street after being “jumped” outside a corner shop in Kentish Town. Less than two hours later a 20-year-old died after being stabbed near Belsize Park.
Detectives are investigating possible gang links to both killings and police imposed blanket stop and search powers across Camden in a bid to halt further attacks.
There were reports of several other non fatal knifings in Camden last night, although it is not known if they are linked.
The stabbings were the deadliest night of knife violence in London since New Year’s Eve, when four young men were stabbed to death.
So far this year 16 people have been stabbed to death in the capital, the 17-year-old is the sixth teenager to die in a stabbing.
On Monday Home Secretary Amber Rudd pledged a new attempt to tackle the “terrible” toll of knife deaths telling the Standard that more cash would be invested in “early intervention” schemes that seek to divert young people away from carrying blades.
Today Mayor Sadiq Khan also called for an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary to discuss what more can be done across government to tackle the issue.
The 17-year-old boy was attacked near Saver’s Mini Mart on Bartholomew Road, yards from his home on the Peckwater estate.
He was named locally as Abdikarim Hassan.
An auntie, who was comforting the boy’s mother this morning, said: “He was a nice boy. We can’t believe what has happened. It’s a nightmare.”
Family friend Layla Awad said: “He was such a nice boy – he had an innocent face and was so polite. They are a lovely family.”
Friends said the 17 year old was a former pupil at William Ellis secondary school in Camden and was studying at Westminster College.
Witnesses said they saw him staggering from the estate, before collapsing outside a shop where a local doctor battled to save his life.
One local said: “He was a lovely boy, he was always playing football on the pitch on the estate. He had just been going to the shop when he was attacked. It’s become like a territorial war zone around here.”
The 20-year-old stabbed in Malden Road, Belsize Park at around 10.13pm yesterday was named locally as Sadiq Aadam.
His brother Mohamed Aadam, 20, was stabbed to death in Camden in September last year. Their cousin, Mohamed Abdullahi, also 20, was fatally stabbed in the heart in a case of mistaken identity in 2013.
Witnesses said Sadiq was set upon by a group of men wielding machetes. Another claimed one of the gang was wielding a samurai sword.
One said: “I heard a scream, a loud scream and I went to my window. He had been slashed with a machete. There were four guys in a car and one jumped out and slashed him.
“People were screaming for towels, to throw down more and more towels.”
A family member said they were too upset to speak this morning. “ We are all completely devastated,” she said.
A police cordon remained in place this morning along Malden Road near The Fiddler’s Elbow pub yards from where Sadiq was killed.
Met Commissioner Cressida Dick spoke about the stabbings, saying: “I have spoken all too often at the anger I feel at the senseless waste of life, today two more families are suffering a terrible loss and my thoughts are with them.
“The frequency with which some of our young people are prepared to take each other’s lives is shocking. London must come together to make it clear that this cannot continue. We will not police our way out of this problem. There is a role for all of us – London’s public, our partners and the police.”
She appealed directly to young people saying : “There will be young people out today who are carrying knives – stop and think. Do you really want your life to end? Or end someone else’s and waste your own life in prison? My challenge to everyone in London is to ask each and every person to think about what you can do to help us tackle this blight on our city.”
In another separate incident a man in his 20s was gravely ill in hospital today after being shot on an estate in Westminster, less than a half a mile from the Palace of Westminster.
Police were called to Old Pye Street on the Peabody Estate at 8.35 pm last night to reports of a man suffering gunshot wounds. He was taken to hospital where his condition is described as critical. Trident gang detectives have made two arrests.
Source: Evening Standard