A teenager died in his “mother’s arms” after he was stabbed in the neck defending his family from thieves, his friends and relatives said.
Detectives have launched a murder investigation after 18-year-old Hussain Chaudhry was attacked on a busy street in Walthamstow, east London, during rush hour on Wednesday.
He was pronounced dead at the scene after police and paramedics were called to Lea Bridge Road at around 5.20pm.
The force said the victim had been formally identified as Mr Chaudhry and a post-mortem examination on Thursday gave cause of death as hypovolemic shock and a stab wound to the neck.
His sister Afia Chaudhry said on an online fundraising page: “Yesterday my beautiful baby brother left this world the same way he came in, cradled in my mother’s arms.
“He died defending his family. His eyes were bright, his face showed no pain, he was at peace.
“To God we belong and to Him we return. You’re home now baby, I’ll see you soon.”
Relatives said his mother and brother were also injured in the attack.
The Metropolitan Police said a man in his 20s and a women in her 40s, both related to Mr Chaudhry, had suffered slash injuries to their hands and were taken to hospital.
The man has since been discharged, but the women has remains in hospital, the force added.
Mr Chaudhry’s friend Wahab Ahmed, who set up the page to build a mosque in his memory, described him as an “incredibly kind and beautiful soul”.
“On Wednesday March 17 2021, my beloved friend Hussain Chaudhry was tragically taken from this world protecting his family from thieves,” he said.
“Hussain was an incredibly kind and beautiful soul who always looked out for others.
“He was someone who always had a smile on his face, and was a blessing to the community. He will be greatly missed.”
Soas University of London said in a statement it was “shocked and deeply saddened” to learn of the death of Mr Chaudhry, who was a first year law student.
It said: “Hussain died yesterday in tragic circumstances, defending his mother in an attack, in the course of which she and his brother Hasan, also a Soas student, were both injured.
“Both Hasan and his mother are recovering and we wish them a swift return to health.”
In a message to students, Scott Newton, head of the university’s law school, and Mr Chaudhry’s academic adviser, Dr Samia Bano, said: “We will remember Hussain as a very kind and thoughtful student who was excited to be studying law and brought this enthusiasm to his classes and his interactions.
“Hussain had high ambitions and equally high aptitude and promise.
“All of us mourn his death and our love, prayers and condolences go out to his brothers Hasan and Aysh, also a Soas law graduate, and his sister Afia, a Soas history graduate, and to his parents, extended family, and friends.”
Detective Chief Inspector Perry Benton has urged anyone driving in the area on Wednesday evening to check dash-cam footage, and for local residents to check doorbell cameras for any insights into the crime.
He said: “A young man has lost his life in tragic circumstances and my thoughts are with his family and friends at this awful time.
“The attack happened on a busy road during rush-hour and I know there would have been lots of vehicles passing at the time of the incident.”
Detective Superintendent Paul Whiteman said extra officers will be in the area over the coming days to help reassure the community and listen to concerns from residents.
He said: “We remain committed to tackling violent crime and we are working with a number of partners to help us prevent another tragic loss of life.
“You will see extra officers in the area this week and they will be using a range of tactics to target those who choose to put others in danger by carrying a knife.”
More than £16,000 in donations have been made to the GoFundMe page set up in Mr Chaudry’s memory at gofund.me/e98c8e95
Witnesses should call the police on 101 quoting reference CAD5697/17MAR or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.