An 18-year-old who was stabbed to death on a playing field in south-west London was a student at Richmond upon Thames College, where fellow students have been left feeling “numb” by the incident.
He was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead around an hour later and his next of kin have been informed.
The scene of the attack is yards from Richmond upon Thames College, which confirmed on Wednesday that the victim was one of its students.
The college’s principal, Dr Jason Jones, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the student’s family and friends at this difficult time.
“This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our students, parents, staff and local community.”
In a statement, the college said it was cooperating with the police investigation as well as providing support and counselling to students and staff, and has boosted security and surveillance at its entrances.
Students were able to choose whether to go in for lessons or stay at home on Wednesday, Clare Tear, the college’s head of marketing, told the PA news agency.
Students walking past the pitch, where two police tents and cordons are still in place, said they were shocked by the stabbing.
Richmond College student Connor Burberry, 17, said he felt “numb” but that such crimes were all too “normal”.
Visibly distressed, he said: “I left my house at 9am, said goodbye to my nan, ‘love you,’ gave her a kiss and returned home. He (the victim) didn’t and for me it’s just, like, that could happen to anyone.”
Local residents said the area was usually quiet, although some complained about anti-social behaviour by teenagers in the area.
Detective Chief Inspector Vicky Tunstall said: “The incident occurred in a playing field area and was witnessed by a number of people.
“Some of those people are believed to have filmed events as they unfolded; I ask that any videos are not shared via social media to avoid causing the young man’s family any more distress at this already incredibly difficult time for them.
“Instead, please go to the police immediately. A number of people have spoken to us, but we need to hear from anyone who has information that could help.
“We’re working to establish the motive behind this tragic incident and following a number of leads. If you believe you can help us, then please make contact.”
This year is on course for a record toll of violent teenage deaths despite overall numbers of homicides reducing due to coronavirus lockdowns.
So far in 2021 there have been 25 teenage homicides in London including the Twickenham death, compared to previous peaks in 2017 when 27 young people died and 2008 when 29 were killed.
Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or tweet @MetCC quoting the reference 5697/12OCT.
To remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online.