A teenage Afghan refugee was stabbed to death on a sports ground in southwest London in front of schoolchildren playing rugby.
The victim, named as Hazrat Wali, 18, of Notting Hill, was attacked around 4.45pm Tuesday on Craneford Way, Twickenham, meters from Richmond upon Thames College, which he attended.
Despite the efforts of a teacher who provided CPR after his collapse, Wali was pronounced dead in hospital shortly after.
A murder investigation was launched. Twickenham Liberal Democrat MP Munira Wilson said police, who have not yet made any arrests, are “pursuing a key suspect who is still at large.”
A relative of Stanmore’s told the Evening Standard that Wali came to the UK only two years ago to seek a better life, leaving his family in Afghanistan.
His friend Sahil Kochay said: “He was a very good person. Very affectionate and loved to all. He had no hatred for anyone. I used to defend everyone. I wish I knew why someone would hurt him. He was not the type of person to fight. “
Eighth-graders from nearby Richmond upon Thames School, ages 12 and 13, who were playing rugby at the time, were said to be crying as they watched. Their master initially tried to protect them, before attempting to save the 18-year-old.
A witness told the Evening Standard: “There was a teacher in a rugby uniform, he was trying to save the boy. He was giving CPR. There were two girls next to him, they were crying. He was a true hero, it was a terrible scene. Five minutes before the incident, a very noisy group of children arrived and were heading to the field. The next thing we knew, all hell broke loose. “
The attack reportedly started on a catwalk, where the victim and the suspects had been arguing.
One father said a group of children “slipped away” after the teacher approached them, before his 13-year-old son saw Wali collapse.
The crime scene is now in place, with two tents set up in the field.
Dr. Jason Jones, University Principal of Richmond upon Thames College, said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the student’s family and friends at this difficult time. This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our students, parents, staff, and local community. ”
DCI Vicky Tunstall said: “We are still working to establish the motive behind this tragic attack and we are pursuing a number of clues. Officers recovered CCTV from the area and spoke to several witnesses who described seeing a fight in the moments before Hazrat was attacked. We know there were a lot of people in the field at the time and I urge anyone who has not yet spoken to the police to contact us immediately. “
Wilson offered his “deepest condolences” to Wali’s family after the “tragic and shocking incident.”
Lib Democrat MP said in a statement: “Police are pursuing a key suspect who is still at large and forensic searches are ongoing at the crime scene. The field and rail bridge access via Twickenham Rough will remain closed and sealed for at least the next 48 hours.
“The police have significantly stepped up patrols in the area and will continue to do so over the next few days. I have urged you to continue to do so beyond this week. The university’s security team is also patrolling the area more intensively.
“I will reiterate my calls to the Mayor of London and the central office to increase the number of local policemen.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism