Tributes have poured in for the 15-year-old Joel Adesina, who was stabbed to death in Bethnal Green, east London, on Friday night.
A police investigation is currently underway and the police are appealing to any witnesses, who were nearby Padbury Court or Gibraltar Walk, Bethnal Green, at the time to come forward. Police believe that a fight broke out between one group of youngsters who were walking, among whom was Adesina, and another group in a car.
It is likely that Adesina was stabbed immediately after the altercation between the two groups took place.
Detective chief inspector Chris Jones of the homicide and major crime command said: “Anyone who may have witnessed this altercation or have information which could assist the investigation is asked to contact the police as soon as possible.”
The Metropolitan police were called to the scene by London Ambulance Service at around 23:00, where Adesina was found suffering from serious stab injuries to the abdomen. Adesina was taken to hospital but died three hours later in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Adesina, 15, collapsed in a corner shop off Brick Lane, in a pool of blood, after being stabbed in the stomach.
Birkan Akepe, 29, who works at Ekol Food Centre, said: “Two boys came in with their friend who was badly hurt. He was bleeding for about 15 minutes in the shop.” He continued, “They asked for something for the blood and I gave them tissues. Then he fell on the floor.”
Tributes to the teenager, who was a talented footballer and student from Dagenham, have poured in from loved ones and friends.
Ricky Downes, 54, manager of Adesina’s football team Bardag FC Yellows, said: “He was always dedicated, always worked hard and always gave 100 per cent. He was as good as gold. There was just something about him that touched people.” He added, “As a player you could see his quality straight away. He was fast and he could be fast with the ball. He was a natural — the sky was the limit.”
Mr Downes also said: “My message to the boys carrying any weapons is to put them down and just pick up a racket or a ball or get into sport because there is too much of this.”
Fahid Hussian, one of Joel’s former school mates, described him as a “good, fun guy” who “was always fun to be around and joking about.” He added, “He was one of the good ones.”
On Twitter @AmyyEdwardss wrote: “Another young boy gone far too soon... R.I.P Joel <3” whilst another friend said, “RIP Joel. To think my talk with you last week was our last. You shouldn’t have gone but you’re in a better place now. Until we meet again x”.
Joel’s grieving family say that the tributes paid by the teenager’s friends have given them some comfort.
Joel’s aunt said, “We are still in shock. It is just still very distressing to know that this has happened.” She added, “We are grateful for and appreciate everyone’s concern.”
Officers have said that a post-mortem examination will be carried out in due course.
An 18-year-old who had been arrested and questioned in connection with the incident has now been released by police with no further action to be taken.
Anyone with information or who witnessed the attack are being urged to call the incident room on 020-8345 3734, the non-emergency line on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.