Twickenham stabbing: School children observe teen knife horror

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teenager stabbed to death on a sports field in south London has been named locally as Afghan refugee Hazrat Wali.

Relatives said Mr Wali, 18, who was attacked during a fight in Craneford Way, Twickenham, had come to the UK two years ago for a better life.

A relative living in Stanmore told the Standard: “Hazrat was a very good boy. He came here to study, he was living all on his own in London. His immediate family are all back in Afghanistan.

“I saw him in hospital. He had a fight is all that I’ve heard.”

His close friend Sahil Kochay said: “He was a very good person. Very caring and loved everyone.

“He didn’t keep up any hate towards anybody. He used to stand up for everyone. I wish I knew why someone would hurt him. He wasn’t the kind of guy to fight.”

He was stabbed to death on a sports field in front of schoolchildren whose teacher ran over to give CPR in a desperate attempt to try to save his life.

The 18-year-old was attacked during a fight on a footbridge before staggering and collapsing onto the playing fields in Craneford Way, Twickenham, at 4.45pm on Tuesday.

The teacher from Richmond Upon Thames School shielded his year 8 pupils, aged 12 and 13, who had been playing rugby, before tending to the victim. The pupils were said to be in tears as they witnessed the horror.

The 18-year-old is the 25th teenage killing victim of 2021 in London, with the city on track for its worst ever year for such deaths.

Police and paramedics attended the scene yards from neighbouring Richmond upon Thames College and close to The Stoop — the home of Harlequins rugby team.

Detectives have called on people who filmed the attack not to proportion it on social media.

Nigel Howard

One woman said her 13-year-old son saw the victim drop to the ground.

“The victim and suspects were arguing for a while. The teacher realised what was going on and moved the younger kids away from them,” she said.

“The older ones kept on walking to the footbridge where the row carried on. The teacher went over, the boys scarpered and the poor boy dropped to the ground. He was the first to realise he had been stabbed.

“The teacher did an amazing job.

My son is now petrified of knives but he is level-headed and okay. He said it was quite far away but he did see the boy collapse.”

A observe said: “There was a teacher in a rugby kit, he was trying to save the boy. He was giving CPR. There were two girls next to him, they were crying. He was a real hero, it was a terrible scene.

“Five minutes before the incident a group of very noisy kids came along were heading to the field. The next thing we knew all hell let loose.”

Another resident said the teacher “was fighting so hard to save the lad”.

Nigel Howard

The victim was taken to hospital where he was distinct dead an hour later. Scotland Yard said his family are being supported by specialist officers.

The pitch is now a crime scene, with two police tents, and cordons are in place. There have been no arrests.

The murder happened in Richmond, one of London’s safest boroughs.

Richmond Upon Thames School said their headteacher was writing to parents today expressing “how shocked we are to hear of the senseless death”.

It said in a statement: “While the teenager didn’t attend Richmond Upon Thames School a loss of any young life is a tragedy that affects all of us.

“Knife crime is a London wide problem, and the headteacher would like to emphasise how important it is for parents to talk to their children about the dangers of carrying any kind of weapon.”

Richmond upon Thames College on Wednesday said its principal and senior staff were fully cooperating with police over the unfortunate “death of a young male”.

The Met has launched 107 homicide investigations in 2021, of which 25 involved teenage victims.

If the current rate continues, the number of fatalities for the year will top 30 youngsters for the first time, overtaking the peak of 29 in 2008, in addition as the 26 recorded in 2019.

Detective Chief Inspector Vicky Tunstall, who is leading the murder investigation, said: “The incident occurred in a playing field area and was witnessed by a number of people.

“Some of those people are believed to have filmed events as they unfolded. I ask that any videos are not shared via social media to avoid causing the young man’s family any more distress. Instead, please go to the police closest.”

Anyone with information or footage is asked to call police on 101, quoting 5697/12OCT, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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