This is the first picture of the ‘generous’ shopkeeper who was stabbed to death in a bungled robbery on Sunday morning.
The victim, named by police as Ravi Katharkamar, 54, was killed at his shop in Pinner, north west London.
Shop landlord Kirit Dodiya, 49, said Mr Katharkamar was ‘always smiling’ and a ‘gentleman’.
He said: ‘He was a top guy. I would see him inside the shop. We manage other shops on the road.
The victim, named by police as Ravi Katharkamar, 54, was killed at his shop in Pinner, north west London
‘I spoke to him a few times and he was a gentleman.
‘It was such a shock for me personally, I spoke to him on Friday.
‘He was always smiling, always. You would walk into the shop and he would offer you something always.
‘We want to give a tribute ourselves and send flowers.’
Mr Katharkamar used to worship at the Vel Murugan Hindu Temple in Watford, Hertfordshire.
Head priest at the temple Sundar Rasiah said: ‘Ravi would come in and pray every Friday morning. ‘He was a very generous man, he donated £1,200 of his own money to fund a statue of the deity Bhairavar.
‘He had a wife – Vignarani – and two sons and lived in Watford. ‘I don’t know the events of yesterday morning but we are devastated at his loss. He will be missed by everyone here.’
CCTV footage has revealed the last moments of a father-of-two newsagent worker before he was stabbed to death in a robbery.
It is unknown whether either man was the killer, but locals say the driver of the white car was definitely ‘friendly and polite’ Ravi.
A neighbour’s security camera captured a man arriving at the shop at around 5.30am in a white car, with neighbours identifying the vehicle as Ravi’s.
Minutes later another man can be seen ‘staggering’ through the area in another direction, while another car is also seen arriving with the driver seen walking out of shot before returning to the vehicle and leaving.
Police say the robbery ‘escalated’ and it is believed the offender stole a till, which may have been discarded in the area.
Locals say the shop, Marsh Food and Wine, has been targeted twice before, with the most recent incident six months ago.
The possible last sighting of the newsagent captured on camera as he arrived to open up his shop before he was fatally stabbed inside
Flowers and tributes have been left at the scene today while forensic officers continue to perform fingertip searches.
A cordon remains at the scene, with a white and yellow evidence tent still up.
Gareth Cox, 42, who lives above the scene, said he found the footage on his CCTV camera after waking up to find a forensic tent outside his flat.
The brewery owner said: ‘I woke up at 7am to find the whole road cordoned off, a couple of ambulances and a very large police presence.
‘Someone was staggering along at half five, the footage is grainy, but you can see him stumbling along the pavement.
‘It looks like it must have happened close by perhaps – he come out of one of the houses – this took place opposite the synagogue.’
He added: ‘Just before the man was stumbling a car, I think it’s a Prius, pulled up, a man got out and he walked the other way.
‘It was the guy from the news agents. The car was his and he always parked outside.
He added: ‘They were hit by armed men two years ago, there was police and forensics everywhere.
‘Why they would target that place I don’t know. It’s a newsagent that sells party supplies.’
Another local newsagent said: ‘Ravi’s shop was broken into in the middle of the night before. They came for his cigarettes.
‘Nobody was hurt. The police were called. It was six months ago.’
Speaking at the police cordon, another neighbour confirmed that the car was owner by the victim.
She said: ‘That was his car. He would drive it to the shop each time he was in.’
Neighbour Kediga Mohammed Ali added: ‘Whenever he was inside the shop that car was outside.’
A man knifed to death at a newsagent in north west London has been named as father-of-two Ravi, 54, and described as a ‘friendly and polite’ man
It comes amid another night of bloodshed in the capital with six more people stabbed overnight from Saturday to Sunday
Residents have spoken of their shock after their local newsagent was killed.
A number of appeals have been also launched online by locals to raise money for his grieving family.
One organiser, Kristina Bennett, 31, said: ‘He was always friendly and polite.
‘Pinner is a lovely place to live with a great community, and I am hopeful that everyone will pull together to help the family in whatever way they can.’
Another appeal by the Pinner Parents group was set up to ‘pour all of our disbelief and sadness into something useful’.
The introduction for their GoFundMe appeal said: ‘The murder on our doorsteps yesterday was utterly senseless and totally tragic. While we are seeing an epidemic of violent crime in this country, for it to happen so close to home is hard to ignore.’
One woman said: ‘I have lived here for 46 years, I know the area very well, it’s lovely – all kinds of people are here and it’s peaceful.
‘I would go into that shop each week to pay my newspaper bill.
‘When I do I speak to the owner, he has always been a very private person, but last week he began to open up.
Scotland Yard said the shop’s till was stolen and may have been discarded by the suspect, while detectives are appealing for witnesses who saw a black Vauxhall Astra driven away at speed immediately after the stabbing
‘He told me how much he loves the Netherlands and how he used to live there, in Amsterdam.
‘And I was told about his work with the tulips, he was so excited to talk about it, he just wouldn’t stop.
Another newsagent said: ‘I know the previous owner, Kan Balarajah, he owned the shop when it was a Post Office.
‘It changed hands again last summer. What happened is terrible. ‘
Another local, 62, said: ‘I collected my parcels from the shop. Ravi was the nicest man, so sweet.
‘He was lovely and a part of the community. He had glasses, I would see him behind the counter.
‘It’s appalling what happened. He left behind two children. Everyone here is very concerned.’
Officers were called to the scene in Marsh Road at around 6am but the victim was pronounced dead about 45 minutes later.
Scotland Yard said the shop’s till was stolen and may have been discarded by the suspect, while detectives are appealing for witnesses who saw a black Vauxhall Astra driven away at speed immediately after the stabbing.
No arrests have been made and detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command have been informed.
Norman Stevenson, a Conservative councillor for Pinner, said: ‘I am shocked to hear what’s happened here this morning. Pinner is a fairly prosperous, leafy suburb.
‘A very safe part of the world. It’s a real shock this has happened. There are only rumours at the moment about who the victim is. I have just been asking the police but they can’t release any information.
‘It’s very unfortunate. We wouldn’t expect it to happen. We don’t expect this to happen in a typical leafy suburb.’
One resident described Pinner as ‘lovely’ but said she was not shocked by the news as such incidents are ‘happening in all areas’.
A section of Marsh Road in Pinner, pictured, remains cordoned off today
Mary MacNamara, who has lived in the area for four years, said: ‘We all see what’s going on generally and it (such crime) seems to be happening in all areas.
‘It’s happening every day. Nobody does anything about it. The Government are doing nothing about it. All they do is fight about Brexit.’
Speaking yesterday, Detective Chief Inspector Simon Stancombe said: ‘I am appealing to anyone who was in the area around Marsh Lane this morning and saw anything of interest to contact police.
‘This was a violent robbery that has escalated, resulting in the murder of a man.
‘It appears the till was stolen from the shop during this robbery and this may have been discarded by the suspect. If you have come across this, we want to hear from you.
‘I am particularly keen to hear from anyone who saw a black Vauxhall Astra that was driven away at speed south down Cecil Park immediately after the attack.
‘We think that car was parked in Cecil Park prior to the murder – if you saw this, or have any other information that could help us progress this investigation, I would urge you to get in contact.’
Police are asking anyone with information to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
The stabbing is the 29th to be classed as a homicide in London so far this year.
On Friday night, a 17-year-old boy was stabbed to death outside a block of flats.
Police arrived just after 10.30pm to reports of a fight and found a teenage boy dying in the street.
Paramedics battled in vain and the teen was pronounced dead at the scene in Isleworth, west London.
Another murder investigation has been launched and no arrests have yet been made.
Police arrest eight people after a man ‘in his 30s’ was stabbed to death following a ‘disturbance’ on a leafy suburban road
Six men and two women have been arrested after a man was stabbed to death during a ‘disturbance’ on a leafy suburban street, police have said.
Avon and Somerset Police have launched a murder investigation following the death of the man, aged in his 30s.
The force received a report of a disturbance at a property on Merlin Drive in Wells, Somerset, involving a number of people at 4.25pm on Saturday.
One of the men died of his injuries at the scene and his next of kin have been informed.
Avon and Somerset Police received a report of a disturbance at a property on Merlin Drive in Wells, Somerset, (pictured today) involving a number of people at 4.25pm on Saturday
The injuries sustained by the other man, also in his 30s, are not life threatening or life changing but he remains in hospital for medical treatment.
A force spokesman said: ‘Armed officers were deployed to the scene and assisted their patrol colleagues with carrying out a number of arrests.
‘The police helicopter was also used in the operation.
‘In total, six men and two women, all from the Somerset area, were detained in connection with the incident and currently remain in police custody.’
A post-mortem examination of the man who died and formal identification will be arranged ‘in due course’, he said.
Officers attended the scene and found two men with knife wounds on nearby Wookey Hole Road. One of the men died of his injuries . The scene is pictured today
Specially trained officers will be providing support to the man’s family.
Detective Inspector Alistair Hammett, senior investigating officer, said a full investigation was being carried out into the ‘very tragic incident’.
‘I appreciate this incident will shock local residents and we are increasing patrols in the area to provide reassurance,’ he said.
‘At this stage, we believe this to be an isolated incident involving people known to each other.
‘A large cordon is in place around the Merlin Drive area and there will be a continuing police presence at the scene for some time while we carry out our enquiries.’
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call 101 giving the log 760 of March 25, or anonymously through Crimestoppers.
Earlier this month, Nathaniel Armstrong, the cousin of Good Morning Britain weatherman Alex Beresford, was knifed to death in Fulham.
He was murdered outside a property on the same street that Crimewatch presenter Jill Dando was shot dead outside her home 20 years ago.
Jodie Chesney, in Harold Hill, east London, and Yousef Makki, in Greater Manchester, both 17, were stabbed to death during one violence-filled weekend earlier this month.
It comes as Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced a £100million funding package to tackle Britain’s knife crime crisis.