London’s latest murder victim had his ‘throat slit with a huge knife’ outside a 24 hour off licence after ‘a row over ciggarettes’, according to a shocked local business boss.
The victim, believed to be aged in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene in Lordship Lane in well-heeled East Dulwich shortly after 3am on Sunday.
No arrests have been made and enquiries into what happened are ongoing, the Metropolitan Police said.
This morning his body still appeared to be inside the police cordon as a forensic tent could be seen outside an off licence on the main road.
The scene on Lordship Lane in East Dulwich, south London where a man, believed to be in his 30’s, was stabbed to death
The shop’s assistant manager, Muhammad Khan, said his cousin was working when an argument erupted inside the store, and has given a statement to police.
He said both men involved in the fight were black and in their 30s or 40s.
Mr Khan said the whole incident from start to finish lasted around 20 seconds and, judging from CCTV footage which has since been handed to police, the knife was around six inches long.
He said: ‘They had an argument about cigarettes.
‘My cousin was here, he was manager.
‘The guy who had the knife came in about five or six minutes after the man who got stabbed.
‘The guy with the knife asked the other for free cigarettes, like as a favour or something. I don’t know whether he knew him.
A policewoman stands by the cordon of the scene of the stabbing early this morning
Police forensics work in a tent covering the body, at the scene on Lordship Lane in East Dulwich
‘They has an argument and he took out a knife. Everyone was trying to stop him.
‘A member of staff behind the counter and other customers tried to stop him too.
‘I watched the CCTV this morning, they are both black guys. The guy that was stabbed was bald and quite tall. They were both in their 30s or 40s.’
He said he had never seen the man with the knife before.
He added that his cousin was too shocked to speak to reporters about the incident.
The assistant manager said the area was ‘very quiet’ and they never had any trouble with customers.
He added: ‘We are always open late, but this is the first time.
‘We have had no trouble around here – it’s very nice, all educated and wealthy people living around here.’
Medical equipment remains on the floor, at the scene of the fatal stabbing in south-east London
A who owns another shop that is just a few doors up from where the attack happened, said: ‘The guys from the off licence saw it.
‘We spoke to them briefly this morning because when we saw the police we were worried something had happened to them.
‘They said they heard something outside and came out to stop it. But they couldn’t do anything.
‘The knife was huge, bigger than a kitchen knife. He slashes him across the neck. I don’t think they were customers.’
He added: ‘I think the guys from the off licence are the ones who called the ambulance.
‘As it’s open late they do get a lot of drunk people in there, but I haven’t heard of them having any problems.’
MP for the area, Helen Hayes tweeted that the knife crime ‘has to stop’. The scene is pictured
The cordon was partly lifted at around 10.30am and traffic is now travelling in both directions alongside the forensic tent.
The victim’s body was removed from the scene at around 11.30am this morning and taken away in a private ambulance
Formal identification and a post-mortem examination will take place in due course, the force added.
Police have appealed for information.
A passer-by at the scene told Mail Online: ‘You read about people being stabbed in the news, but I didn’t expect it to happen so close to home.
‘People live here because it is a nice area, lots of nice places to eat and a good place for families. I’m really surprised.’
MP for the area, Helen Hayes tweeted that the knife crime ‘has to stop’.
Police forensics at the scene of the stabbing in East Dulwich where the victim was said to have had his throat slit with a large knife
She said: ‘Appalled to learn of a fatal stabbing on Lordship Lane during the night. Another family now devastated due to knife crime. This has to stop.’
The news follows three other separate events in London, a stabbing in Neasden last night and a shooting in Isleworth also last night. The earliest of the incidents was a stabbing during a fight in Hayes, west London.
The incident, at around 3.47pm on Saturday, saw police arrest four males on suspicion of the attempted murder of a 16-year-old who was found with stab wounds.
They are a 15-year-old, a 16-year-old and two 18-year-old men. All four were taken to west London police stations where they remain in custody.
Police forensics and officers outside Payless Food & Wine which remains behind a cordon
Two police vehicles at the scene on Lordship Lane as an officer stands by a forensic tent
His injuries are not believed to be life threaten. In both other cases the victims are in critical conditions in hospital.
The stabbing in Neasden, northwest London, saw a 23-year-old taken to a central London hospital after a man and a woman were arrested after the incident which took place at around 10.45pm.
The man, 29, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder. He remains in custody.
He was with a 24-year-old woman who was also arrested. She was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender – she also remains in custody.
In the other event just hours before at around 7.15pm on Saturday night, in Isleworth, Hounslow, west London, a teenage boy was rushed to hospital following a shooting.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘Police were called by paramedics to London Road, Isleworth, at 7.17pm on Saturday to reports of an injured male.
‘Officers attended. At the scene a 17-year-old male was receiving treatment from medics for gunshot wounds. The injured male was taken by LAS to a west London hospital.’
They described his condition as critical.
The police cordon extended across the street, forcing business closures and bus diversions
A man in his 30s has died after being stabbed in Lordship Lane, pictured, in East Dulwich shortly after 3am on Sunday
On Thursday the Office for National Statistics revealed that the number of fatal stabbings is now at the highest level since records began in 1946.
Some 285 people were stabbed to death in the year ending March 2018, with attacks ‘most pronounced’ in young men.
Highlighting a worrying increase in violence plaguing Britain, there were 726 killings recorded overall – 20 more than the previous year.
The homicide figures are more pronounced when excluding mass murders such as the London Bridge, Westminster and Manchester terror attacks, which claimed the lives of 35 innocent victims in 2017.
Already this year at least nine people have been murdered in the capital including Lejean Richards, 19, who was stabbed near Prince George’s school earlier this week
Stats released on Thursday show that stabbings are by far the most common cause of death in homicide cases, nearly three times the second most common, which is beating
Taking those deaths out, the number of killings increasing by 89, or 15 per cent, from 606 to 695.
London witnessed the starkest concentration of crimes involving knives and sharp instruments, highlighting the capital’s ongoing crisis.
So far in 2019 at least nine people have been murdered in the capital including Lejean Richards, 19, who was stabbed to death near Prince George’s school.
His mother Lavern Joseph said: ‘Lejean was a loving son and brother, a young man determined to turn his life around.’
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