Police divers have been trawling a canal for a murder weapon after a “bright and polite” Afghan refugee was stabbed to death in front of horrified school children.
Hazrat Wali, 18, was wounded during a fight on a footbridge before he collapsed on a busy playing field close to his college in Twickenham.
A PE teacher who was nearby administered CPR but the teenager died from his injuries in hospital.
Hazrat, who lived in Notting Hill, was a student at Richmond upon Thames College and came to the UK in search of a better life two years ago. Detectives have been studying CCTV footage from the area while divers have been searching a canal under the footbridge.
His college paid tribute to the construction student today.
Dr Jason Jones, Principal of Richmond upon Thames College said:“Hazrat had a bright future ahead of him. His friends and staff at the College will remember him fondly as a bright and polite young man, well liked by staff and his close-knit group of friends.
“The College community is hurting but we will continue to do everything that we can to support our students, staff and families during this traumatic time.”
Chf Supt Elisabeth Chapple, commander for policing in south-west London, said there would be increased patrols in the area.
She added: “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.”
No arrests have been made and police are appealing for witnesses to the stabbing in Craneford Way at 4.45pm on Tuesday.
A relative told the 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.”
His close friend Sahil Kochay said: “He was a very good person, very caring and loved everyone. He used to stand up for everyone. He wasn’t the kind of guy to fight.”
Hazrat was the 25th teenage killing victim of 2021 in London, with the capital on track for its worst ever year.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.