A teenager was stabbed to death after he was chased through streets by youths armed with machetes on Tuesday, August 16, at Monks Hills estate, Selsdon in Croydon.
The 19-year-old victim identified as Andre Aderemi was knifed multiple times after being pursued by three others carrying weapons.
Police and paramedics rushed to the scene and he was airlifted to hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Witnesses described the commotion just before Aderemi was stabbed to death.
"I saw Andre running for his life and three others were coming behind him. They were just chasing him and shouting. They chased him behind a row of shops. I called the police because I knew if they were to get to him he'd be done. They were armed with machetes. The knives were a foot long. He was stabbed 20 times."
A Met spokesman, on Wednesday said two men, both 19, have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in custody. A third teenager was arrested later and detained by detectives investigating murder case. A post-mortem examination is scheduled to take place at Croydon mortuary today.
More than 100 friends and relatives of Aderemi, last night gathered for a memorial church service on the Croydon estate where he was murdered. His mother Yemi Hughes told the congregation the family had moved away from the estate to get him out of the environment.
"I’ve lost my baby. He’s my everything, my rock... my other two boys are broken. I am just so sad that on this one time I wasn't there for him. I 've always been there for him. He just had to call me and I'd have come. I don't know how I ;m going to be the person that I have been because Andre has been a huge part of my life. He is my rock."
Andre, an ex-pupil at John Ruskin College in Croydon, was an amateur rapper said to be friends with two other young musicians stabbed to death in south London in the past three months. He is the eighth teenage victim of knife crime. He was becoming well known in south London’s grime scene, and was friends with Myron Isaac Yarde, a 17-year-old rapper known as MDot, fatally stabbed in New Cross in April. He is also said to have performed with 16-year-old Leoandro Osemeke, known as Showkey, stabbed to death outside a party in Peckham on August 5. Ms Hughes told his friends:
"I want you guys to know I don’t blame any of you. Andre would not want me to sit here today with hatred in my heart, he loved you all. I want you to grieve, be together, support each other, be among us. I’m going to miss him so much. I just don’t know how I’m going to carry on."
Mandy Davis, Andre’s aunt, said: "Please say a prayer for the young people to stop this war that’s going on, so another mother or another family aren’t grieving like we are today."
Andre’s sister Sheniqua has set up an online fundraising page to raise £4,000 to pay for her brother’s funeral, which has so far raised more than £1,000. She wrote:
"He was a passionate for his loved ones and had a priceless heart."
Rev Peter Wyatt, who led last night’s service, praised the family’s dignity saying:
"His mum was incredibly brave and talked about her son. It’s a huge shock, the last time anything like this happened here was 20 years ago. It’s a very quiet area."
Friends paid tribute to Andre, describing him as "funny. bright and talented guy" Levelle Brown said:
"Where do I start? Andre was one of a kind. First meeting him on a football pitch in year 5 and throughout those years he did not change apart from his hair. "
Ellesse Parsonson said: "I have lost a friend but also a brother who will be missed by many but his cheeky smile will always stay with me."