A young man became the sixth person to be stabbed to death on London’s streets in just six days after he was attacked during a row in front of a crowd of horrified witnesses.
The 26-year-old victim was knifed repeatedly when he became involved in an argument with another person in a street packed with onlookers in Peckham Rye on Friday afternoon, police said.
Shop workers and business owners were heard screaming and crying as they ran out into the street to try to save the man after the attack before emergency services arrived.
Video footage and pictures posted on social media showed a swarm of police cars and sirens blaring as people looked on in the aftermath in broad daylight.
Scotland Yard said on Saturday that officers were still trying to piece together the events that led to the victim’s death.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, who is leading the investigation, said: “At this early stage we believe he was involved in an altercation with another person prior to being stabbed.
“The incident drew a large crowd of onlookers who were on the street and in shops nearby at the time the incident happened.”
He appealed to anyone with mobile phone footage of the incident to contact the police urgently.
Emergency services raced to the scene of the stabbing near to the junction with Blenheim Grove after 999 calls from members of the public at about 3.15pm.
The victim was pronounced dead in the street about 35 minutes later despite the efforts of paramedics.
A witness, an unnamed shopkeeper, told Southwark News that two men were arguing for about 15 minutes and were being held back by others.
He told the newspaper that as the argument escalated, one of the men broke free and stabbed the other.
A resident named Laura, who declined to give her second name, told the Standard she was in the kitchen at the back of her flat when she heard a bang “and women from the salons screaming”.
She said: “My flat looks out on Blenheim Grove, the man fell across the road from me.
"I heard a bang which I think was the man falling into one of the metal shutters.
"I could just see lots of women in the road screaming. There are six salons in the road all next to each other.
"It was more the screaming which drew me to the window. They were all in the road screaming and crying.
"I couldn't see the man, he was surrounded by women."
She added: "It's sad a young man lost his life today."
Passer-by Chad O’Carroll said: “Looked pretty serious.
“They were holding back a tall man who was yelling at the police and looked like he was in a state of shock.”
Commuters pouring out of Peckham Rye station were met with a massive police cordon as officers and police cars blocked the road at the corner with Blenheim Grove.
A swathe of road was taped off by police as officers directed people around the crime scene.
The victim’s next of kin have been informed and a post-mortem examination is scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon.
Formal identification is yet to take place.
There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8785 8244 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.