Tributes have been paid to an “always smiling” teenager who was stabbed to death outside an east London pizza restaurant.
18-year-old Ghulam Sadiq was found suffering multiple knife wounds on High Road, Leytonstone at 2.15pm on Saturday.
Despite desperate attempts by paramedics to revive him Ghulam, from the local area, was pronounced dead at the scene.
A business owner called Ghulam a “loveable rogue” who regularly hung out on the busy high street.
He told the Standard: “Like every other teenage boy, they are always dressed in tracksuits, even in 35 C heat.
“They put on a facade of being gangster because they think it’s cool, but Ghulam was so far from a bad boy.
“He didn’t have a horrible attitude. He didn’t have arrogance and wasn’t one to start fights.
“I would drive past in my work van and he’d be cycling past, always waving, always smiling.
“He had a beautiful, mesmerising smile and braces which made him look adorable.
“He was a kind and gentle person. Respectful. If I was ever outside my store and he saw me, he would stop by ask after me, my staff and my business.”
He added: “To think that such a young life has been taken, is an utter tragedy. I’m just so shocked and heartbroken that such a beautiful soul has lost his life at such a young age.”
His family have been informed of the death and are being supported by specialist officers, police said.
There have been no arrests at this stage.
DCI Linda Bradley, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “Our heartfelt thoughts are with Ghulam’s family as they come to terms with this terrible tragedy, which no family should have to endure.
“He was attacked in broad daylight on the busy High Road on a summer Saturday afternoon. I know this will shock and appal the local community and I want to assure them we will do all we can to identify and bring to justice those responsible.
“The area is likely to have been busy at the time of the incident. I would appeal to anyone who saw anything at all of note to come forward and speak to us.
“Did you see the attack itself? Did you see an altercation? Did you see anyone acting unusually or in a way which aroused your suspicions?
“Might you have dashcam footage from being in the area around that time? We want to hear from you. No piece of information is too insignificant.”
Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101, with the reference 3896/06AUG