A man stabbed to death at a shopping centre in Brent Cross has been named by his family as Gedeon Ngwadema.
His mother, Thethe Elonga, collapsed and broke down in tears as she arrived to lay flowers at the scene on Wednesday morning.
She told the Standard: “I’m heartbroken. He was a wonderful boy, respectful and lovely. He did very well at school and had a very bright future ahead of him.”
Watch: London man stabbed to death at UK shopping centre
The family said Gedeon, 21, had been out shopping with his mother, he returned home and then received a call from a friend. He went out and his family never saw him alive again.
His mother added: “I don’t know how this could have happened. He was a great boy and loved by everyone.”
Gedeon’s uncle Fred said: “He was a very good boy, quiet and polite.
“He wanted to do businesses studies and then set up his own business one day selling clothing or food.
“It’s very shocking and I feel completely down - it’s unbelievable. “He’d just been shopping with his mum to buy some water when his friends called and said ‘oh bruv, can you come.’
“He said ‘man, I’m tired, I don’t want to go out, I just want to stay here with my mum.’ Then he came here and then he was stabbed.”
One tribute posted online said: “RIP Tonkz. Actually can’t believe it. My head is spunnn right now, he was clean hearted man.”
Footage shared on social media showed police escorting shoppers out of the building and an air ambulance landing in the empty car park.
A defibrillator was used on the victim as he lay dying outside Marks and Spencers, witnesses said.
A security guard in the Apple Store said: “All the security came straight away, then the police arrived and they closed the whole floor.
“The police were chasing them to the parking lot because they thought the attacker was there.”
Another witness told the Standard: “I just caught the aftermath, they had somebody on the floor behind some privacy screens outside M&S. They were using a defibrillator on him so it must have been serious.
“We were really worried. We got ushered away, then there were a lot of officers that stormed in.”
An 18-year-old man was arrested nearby on suspicion of murder. And second man, also believed to be aged 18, has been arrested on suspicion of affray.
Chief Superintendent Sara Leach, who is in charge of policing in north west London, said: “My thoughts are with the loved ones of the young man who has been killed in this incident.
“I would like to offer my thanks to the members of the public who came to his aid. They showed considerable courage.
“Two people have been arrested and an investigation is already under way. We will do all we can to identify and bring to justice those responsible.
“The public can expect to see a heightened police presence in the area through the rest of this evening and in the days to come.”
The shopping centre was open at the time of the incident and it is likely that there were a number of witnesses.
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Anyone with information should call 101, providing the reference CAD6136/04MAY. Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers, anonymously, by calling 0800 555 111.