Schoolboy stabbed to death in ambush by gang
Published 03/07/2010 | 05:00
A teenage boy was stabbed to death in an ambush by suspected rival gang members as he arrived at school yesterday.
The 15-year-old, named locally as Zac, was attacked by up to four young men at the gates of Park Campus School in West Norwood, south London.
Witnesses said the attackers laid in wait in a car parked close to the school for youngsters excluded from mainstream education.
Saima Sadfdar, who runs a nearby convenience shop, said the boy collapsed in the arms of a teacher who ran out to help him. She said: "I was told there were three or four people with a big knife.
"Apparently one of the teachers realised something was going on and ran out to help.
"She had her hands open but it was too late and he collapsed in her arms. I knew the boy, he was no trouble."
Emergency services including an air ambulance were called to Gipsy Road Gardens, a short distance from the school, at 8.50am.
It is believed the victim staggered into the residential cul-de-sac after he was repeatedly stabbed at the school.
A second boy, believed to be 14, was receiving hospital treatment after being stabbed in the arm during the incident. Police confirmed one line of inquiry was that the murder was motivated by gang rivalries.
The road had been cordoned off by police and forensics officers were examining a stretch of pavement last night.
Four boys, three of whom are around 14, were questioned by murder squad detectives.
All pupils at the school, which has 80 places, were kept inside for questioning by teachers and police. Tributes were paid to the dead boy on Twitter and Facebook.
Jesse Gassongo-Alex, an aspiring actor, said he had known the victim since they were six.
He said they both went to the Brit School in Croydon but the dead teenager was "kicked out".
Park Campus head teacher Richard Leonard said: "This is a terrible tragedy and the whole school is in shock.