Alex Smith (pictured), 16, has been named as the teenager stabbed to death by thugs ‘with a foot-long machete’ in Camden, north London, at around 11.10pm last night
A 16-year-old boy stabbed to death in London last night sparking the capital’s 87th murder probe has been named as former Southampton youth footballer Alex Smith.
Horrified witnesses have told how a gang armed with knives chased down the youngster ‘with a foot-long machete’ before stabbing him to death in Camden, north London, at around 11.10pm.
And this afternoon, police said the teenager had been chased around Munster Square before being stabbed a number of times. The suspects then made off in a vehicle which was discovered burnt out nearby.
A crime scene remains in place. There have been no arrests.
One anonymous witness recalled how the teenager had frantically searched for help as a gang of three pursued him with a machete while ‘screaming and laughing’.
‘I was just in my room and all I heard was screaming and shouting,’ she said. ‘Through my bedroom window I could see everything.’
‘We just saw the three boys holding him. He said “help me, help me, help me”. He collapsed on the floor and then it was quiet.’
The victim’s stomach was visibly bloodied, she said, adding that the attackers fled in a car. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, near Regent’s Park, just before midnight.
Forensics officers are at the scene in Camden this morning investigating the murder of a 16-year-old last night
A campaigner from Camden Against Violence is pictured laying flowers for the latest victim of the capital’s knife epidemic
Police remain at the scene this morning in Camden, north London, where a teenager has been stabbed to death
An officer is pictured at the estate in Camden, north London, this morning, where a boy was killed last night
Pictured: The scene this morning in Camden, north London, where a 16-year-old was stabbed to death last night
Pictured: Police at the scene in Camden, where a 16-year-old was stabbed to death on an estate late last night
Pictured: The locations at which murder investigations have been sparked in London since the start of the year
Mr Smith had played youth football for Southampton but had ‘gone off the rails’ after he was released from the club, according to friends.
One told the Sun Online: ‘I was good friends from around age six to 14, but in the last couple of years he went off the rails.
‘We played at Southampton FC youth team together but he got released and then got involved with the wrong people.’
The Metropolitan Police has said the victim was chased around Munster Square ‘by a number of suspects’ prior to being stabbed a number of times.
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Detective Chief Inspector Paul Healy said this afternoon: ‘The suspects made off in a vehicle which was discovered burnt out nearby. Another vehicle believed to be involved in the incident was also found burnt out some distance away.’
‘We have a dedicated team working relentlessly to track down those responsible. We’re reviewing CCTV, knocking on doors and completing other enquiries to build a clear picture of the events last night.
‘We’re still in the early stages of our investigation and we are urging to those who have information to do the right thing and speak to us.
‘I am sure that others will have seen something last night around the Munster Square area, I am also interested in those who may have dash cam footage in the area at the time.’
Tourists staying at a hotel nearby told of their shock after seeing London’s latest murder on the doorstep. A Lamborghini was among posh cars parked in the leafy square.
The victim was the 15th teenager to be murdered in London this year – 14 of whom have been fatally stabbed, and the 75th teenager to be killed in the capital since Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor just three years ago.
A local resident said a car pulled up and the attackers jumped out, chased the victim and stabbed him before speeding off in the same vehicle just after 11pm last night.
A cafe attendant, who works near the scene, said: ‘The car just pulled up, people jumped out and chased him through the estate. They stabbed him and then drove off.’
Tourists staying at the four-star Melia White House Hotel, just yards from the scene, told of their shock.
Jose Blanco, 20, a student from the Dominican Republic who is staying at the hotel with his family, said: ‘I had heard about rising crime in London on the news, but I didn’t expect someone to be killed next to my hotel.’
Nei Barbosa, 48, from Paraná in Brazil, is staying at the hotel on his first visit to London with his partner Carla.
He said: ‘We thought that London was extremely safe. I can’t believe someone was killed just outside our hotel. We will definitely be very careful for the rest of our stay.’
Doug Paterson, 61 from Aberdeen in Scotland, was staying at his friend’s apartment opposite the hotel when he went out on to the balcony for a cigarette.
London teenagers killed so far in 2019:
1. January 8th: Jaden Moodie, 14, stabbed to death after being knocked off a moped in Leyton, east London
2. January 29th: Nedim Bilgin, 17, repeatedly stabbed in Islington, north London
3. February 5th: Lejean Richards, 19, stabbed to death in Battersea, south London
4. February 23rd: Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck, 19, died in hospital hours after being chased into a hairdressing salon in Wood Green, north London, where he was shot and stabbed
5. March 1st: Sixth form student Jodie Chesney, 17, stabbed to death in park in Harold Hill, east London
6. March 7th: Ayub Hassan, 17, fatally stabbed in the chest in the middle of the afternoon near West Kensington tube station in west London
7. March 22nd: Abdirashid Mohamoud, 17, stabbed in Isleworth, west London
8. May 1st: Tashaun Aird, 15, stabbed to death in Dalston, east London
9. May 5th: McCaulay Junior Urugbezi-Edwards, 18, chased and stabbed by hooded lone knifeman in Elephant and Castle, south London
10. June 14th: An 18-year-old, named locally as Cheyon Evans, fatally stabbed in Tooting in broad daylight.
11. June 14th: Eniola Aluko, 19, shot dead in broad daylight in Plumstead
12. June 26th: Yusuf Mohamed, 18, stabbed to death outside a greengrocers in Shepherd’s Bush. Two 17-year-olds have been charged with his murder
13. June 30th: Amara Toure, 18, of Manor Park, died in hospital after being stabbed in Walworth
14. July 11th: Kye Manning, 19, stabbed to death and another two teens slashed during a running brawl through the centre of Purley
15. August 12th: Alex Smith, 16, stabbed to death in Camden.
He said: ‘I saw three men running down the road below between 11pm and midnight yesterday.
‘They were running together and looked suspicious. They were shouting amongst themselves.
‘One was wearing a black tracksuit and another a grey tracksuit. I can’t remember what the other had on.’
He added: ‘It’s frightening. They will stab you for a cigarette and then go home to play on their Xbox like nothing happened.’
A construction manager, 52, who was working in Regent’s Place opposite the hotel, said: ‘Come on Boris, sort it out! We have been too weak for too long.
‘I say bring it on to stop and search. People say it’s racist, but if you are not carrying anything you’ve got nothing to worry about.’
A logistics worker, 24, delivering drinks to the hotel, said: ‘It’s sad. It’s just kids killing kids. They don’t think about how it will affect their families.
‘Look around you: there’s a Lamborghini right there, with a nice hotel and fancy apartments next to it. A boy was stabbed nearby.
‘It’s symbolic. Kids don’t want to work these days. They listen to songs and want to get rich quick by doing terrible things.’
Police said a murder investigation had been launched and that enquiries into the circumstances were ongoing. No arrests have been made.
A Met Police spokeswoman said: ‘A murder investigation is underway following a stabbing in Camden.
‘Police were called at around 11.10pm on Monday to reports of a male stabbed in Munster Square.
‘Officers and paramedics attended and the 16-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. A crime scene remains in place.’
She added: ‘There have been no arrests. Enquiries into the circumstances remain ongoing.’
Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting incident number CAD8433/12Aug.
Since Sadiq Khan took over as London Mayor, 75 teenagers have been murdered in the capital at the appalling rate of just under one every fortnight.
A total of 26 teenagers were murdered in London in 2017, the most since 2008, 20 of whom were fatally stabbed. Last year 24 teenagers were killed in the capital, 18 of them knifed to death.
Commenting on the Home Affairs Committee’s report on serious youth violence two weeks ago, Sadiq Khan said: ‘For more than three years I’ve been calling on the Government urgently to provide the funding we desperately need for our police and preventative services.
Pictured: Police at the scene in Munster Square, Camden, last night after a male was stabbed to death in north-west London
Officers (pictured at the scene) have launched London’s 87th murder investigation of the year
‘This report lays bare years of government failure, and echoes much of what I have been saying: there is clear evidence of the link between poverty and youth violence, school exclusions and youth violence and a lack of opportunities for young people and youth violence. Cuts have consequences.
‘In London we are doing our best to tackle crime through the City Hall-funded Violent Crime Task Force which is taking weapons and offenders off our streets as well as addressing the causes of crime with England’s first Violence Reduction Unit and the £45 million Young Londoners Fund.
‘But without proper government funding, strategy and leadership in dealing with violent crime, and the causes of violent crime, we are fighting with one hand tied behind our backs.’
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