Renell Charles: Family’s anguish after boy, 16, is stabbed to death at school gates

·3-min read
Renell Charles, 16, who stabbed in Walthamstow’s Markhouse Road just after 4pm on Friday (Met police)
Renell Charles, 16, who stabbed in Walthamstow’s Markhouse Road just after 4pm on Friday (Met police)

The family of a schoolboy who was stabbed to death outside his school have spoken of their devastation as a 16-year-old boy was charged with his murder.

Renell Charles, 16, a pupil at Kelmscott School in Walthamstow, east London, was attacked shortly after the end of the day on Friday.

Emergency services attended but despite their efforts, he died at the scene a short time later.

Fighting back tears, a cousin told the Standard on Tuesday: “He was a happy boy, now he has gone. Why? His parents are devastated. He was a good person.”

A 16-year-old boy was set to appear at Stratford Magistrates’ Court after he was charged with Renell’s murder.

Students and teachers this morning laid flowers at the spot where Renell died outside the gates of the school.

Headteacher Sam Jones said the attack marked the “darkest of days” for the community as a shrine built up at the crime scene on Markhouse Road.

Mr Jones told staff and parents the school would reopen today. Before classes, he led a special assembly to comfort pupils.

Renell, known affectionately as Renz, was attacked in front of classmates at the school gates.

An Arsenal shirt bearing the words “Renz’s World” lay next to packets of Skittles and Haribo, his favourite sweets.

One parent said: “This death has left a hole in my son’s life. I also fear for his safety. The streets are not safe.”

An eyewitness described how a teacher tried to save Renell.

He said: “I saw two punching each other. I shouted to stop. One of them had been stabbed, he fell to the ground, the stuffing in his jacket came out from where the knife went in. The attacker was in a mask and had a very big knife.

“I was told the attacker came in here in a white Hyundai taxi. I haven’t been able to sleep. I keep running the scene over in my head.”

His murder came amid a weekend of bank holiday violence in London.

Hours after Renell’s death, Wazabakana Elenda Jordan Kukabu, known as Jordan, 18, was stabbed to death near Dagenham Heathway Tube station. A second male was taken to hospital with a knife injury.

A 20-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder was released with no further action.

Police are also investigating the killing of Sebastian Zon, 27, who was stabbed in Hackney about 11pm on Friday. Zbigniew Galek, 52, has been charged with murder.

Two men aged 21 and 66-year-old were treated for gunshot injuries following a shooting in Swaton Road, Bow at 9pm on Sunday.

The victims were sat in a car when targeted by a suspect who then fled the scene in a silver Skoda Octavia travelling in the direction of Campbell Road.

That same night, two other men were injured in a drive-by shooting as they sat in a vehicle on Lyndhurst Way, Peckham.

Suspects on a moped fired at them before the victims’ vehicle overturned as they attempted to flee.

On Saturday evening, another motorist was shot in Clarendon Road, Mitcham.

Separately, a 15-year-old old boy from south London has been charged with the murder of Ben Moncrieff, 18, in Bath, Somerset, in the early hours of Saturday.