Afghan refugee stabbed to death in London park after ‘row breaks out on football pitch during game’

·3-min read
Police are still on the search for suspects  (REUTERS)
Police are still on the search for suspects (REUTERS)

A teenage boy who was fatally stabbed on a playing field in southwest London has been named locally as Afghan refugee, Hazrat Wali.

The 18-year-old victim was fatally injured around 4.45pm on Tuesday at Craneford Way, Twickenham and rushed to an outer London hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5.54pm.

A witness told The Sun: “He got into a row during the game and a bloke pulled out a knife and stabbed him.”

The incident took place in front of schoolchildren whose teacher rushed over to administer CPR to save Mr Wali’s life.

A relative told the Evening 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.”

Students at Richmond Upon Thames College, where Mr Wali was a student, have been left feeling “numb” due to the loss.

Student Connor Burberry, 17, said while he felt “numb,” such crimes were all too “normal”.

The teenager said: “I left my house at 9am, said goodbye to my nan, ‘love you,’ gave her a kiss and returned home. He didn’t and for me it’s just, like, that could happen to anyone.”

A number of witnesses filmed the incident and police have urged them not to post any footage on social media.

Detective Chief Inspector Vicky Tunstall 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 at this already incredibly difficult time for them.

"Instead, please go to the police immediately. A number of people have spoken to us, but we need to hear from anyone who has information that could help.

"We’re working to establish the motive behind this tragic incident and following a number of leads. If you believe you can help us, then please make contact."

This year marks a record teenage violent death toll despite the overall decrease in homicides due to coronavirus lockdowns.

In 2021, 25 teenagers were killed in London, including the most recent death in Twickenham, compared to previous peaks in 2017 which saw 27 young people die, and 2008 when 29 were killed.

Chief Superintendent Elisabeth Chapple, commander for policing in south-west London, said: "Our thoughts are with the young victim and his family at this awful time.

"No young person should lose their life in London and we will do all we can to support our colleagues with their investigation.

"Local residents can expect to see an increased police presence in the area.

"If anyone has any concerns, or information that could help, I encourage them to contact those officers and tell us what they know."

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