The heartbroken parents of a 14-year-old boy stabbed to death outside a south London train station told of their pain on Monday, adding: “Our lives are now empty.”
Jermaine Cools was with his brother when they were attacked near West Croydon station at 6.40pm on Thursday.
The schoolboy took himself to hospital despite suffering multiple knife wounds but died 30 minutes later.
Jermaine’s mother Lorraine Dudek, 35, told the Standard: “Jermaine gave me a kiss before leaving the house on the morning.
“It was a day like any other day but he ended up dead. He was with his brother, they were unarmed. My son has been robbed of his future. Our lives are now empty — he was my soulmate.”
She said Jermaine loved music, wanted to travel and wasn’t in a gang.
Ms Dudek, who works in retail for H&M, added: “The number of young men carrying knives is frightening. I work in Croydon town centre and there is constantly police tape up because of an incident. Enough is enough, we cannot go on like this.”
Jermaine’s father Julius Cools, 47, a restaurant owner, warned of the killer: “He’s still out there.” He added: “Jermaine was a perfect person, he was an angel, too good for this world. I’m heartbroken. In the hospital, the doctor said to us ‘Your son is not coming back’.
“Men are lucky to make the age of 21 these days because of the level of violence. How can we live like that?”
Jermaine is the 27th teenager killed in the capital in 2021. Scotland Yard has already warned the number of fatalities for the year could top 30 young people for the first time, overtaking the record of 29 in 2008.
Jermaine’s family have launched a fundraiser to pay for his funeral and say “goodbye to our beautiful, loving, happy son.” To donate, visit crowdfunder.co.uk/for-murder-victim-jermaine-cools