A violent gang brutally murdered a 20-year-old man by hacking him to death with a samurai sword hours after a teenager was fatally stabbed less than half a mile away in London.
The 20-year-old was attacked in the middle of Bartholomew Road, Camden, by a bandana-wearing gang wielding a samurai sword at around 10.15pm on Tuesday, according to witnesses. After the attack, the gang fled on foot as passers-by desperately tried to save the wounded victim. It was the worst night of violence in the city since New Year’s Eve when four men died.
Only two hours earlier a boy of 17 or 18 was stabbed to death less than a mile away near a memorial to another teenager, Lewis Blackman, who was stabbed to death in Earl’s Court at the weekend.
The two young men killed on the same day are both of Somali origin. They are among six victims of stab wounds in the Camden area of London on Tuesday evening.
One resident who saw the attackers fleeing the scene said: “I saw these four kids in tracksuits running off. One turned to look at me, but they just kept running. I thought at first they were just playing around and then I heard the screaming.”
Denise Arnold, 63, who lives in Malden Road, saw people attempting to resuscitate the victim of the second stabbing.
She said: “My neighbour rushed out because she knew there was something bad. She stood on her bed and she could see. So she rang the 999 call and she was told to go down and check he was breathing.”
She said she saw a large group of people gathered around the victim and added that there was a lot of screaming. At around 11.30pm she said she heard more “wailing and screaming” at the scene.
Another local resident said of the attack: “I heard screaming and shouting and then I looked out my window and I could see him on the floor. There was blood everywhere and he was holding his abdomen to try and stop the bleeding. A man stopped his car and ran over and that was when about 20 people started crowding round him, it was right in front of my building.”
When police arrived the scene, they put on extra patrols and issued an order allowing them to stop and search anyone. Police are investigating if the two murders are linked.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has asked for an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May and Home Secretary Amber Rudd to discuss what can be done to stop the increase in knife crime.