Police in London hunt carjacker who stabbed innocent motorist to death
Harjinder Singh Bhurji, 32, was sitting in his black Mercedes CLK coupe talking to a female friend when the robber opened the passenger door and dragged the woman from the car.
Mr Bhurji was stabbed in the chest after he refused to hand over the car keys and was pronounced dead at the scene yesterday in Stoneleigh Road, Ilford, east London, Scotland Yard said.
The victim, who lived in Ilford, initially tried to hide the car keys under his seat but the robber threatened to harm his friend if he did not hand them over.
He was stabbed before he could retrieve the keys, police said, but, despite his injuries, then found them and handed them to the thief who drove off.
Police were called to the scene at 1.10am yesterday and found Mr Bhurji had suffered a chest wound. He was pronounced dead at 1.42am.
The car, registration number R4 JXW, was found abandoned in Forest Glade, Chingford, east London, at 2.45am.
Mr Bhurji's friend, who was with him at the time, was found at the scene uninjured but suffering from shock.
Two ambulance crews were sent to the scene, along with a single responder in a car and a London air ambulance doctor in a car.
"Sadly, despite the best efforts of our staff, one person - a man - was pronounced dead at the scene," a spokesman for London Ambulance Service said.
Murder squad detectives are keen to hear from anyone who saw the car, possibly driving at high speed, anywhere between Stoneleigh Road and Forest Glade, a journey of about three miles.
The thief may travelled down the A406 North Circular Road or through main back roads.
Detective Chief Inspector Phil Rickells, who is leading the investigation, said: "The suspect appears to have been purely motivated by stealing the car because at this early stage we can find no other obvious motive.
"As far as we can tell, the victim did not know the suspect or why he might want his car.
"The Mercedes had a distinctive number plate and I would appeal to anyone who was out driving in the early hours to cast their minds back and let us know if they saw it."
The suspect is described as black, about 6ft 2ins and slim, wearing a grey "beanie" hat, grey hoodie and dark-coloured bandana. He spoke with a London accent.
A post-mortem examination will be held at 11am today at East Ham mortuary.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8345 1570 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. No arrests have been made.
Mr Bhurji's uncle, Narinder Shargill, who has flown in from San Francisco to be with his relatives, expressed his shock over the "senseless" crime.
He told ITV1'S Daybreak: "My sister got married two weeks ago so the entire family was here from all over the world. It was a time of joy and celebration.
"Two weeks later to be in a state of mourning is just incredible. We just can't imagine something like this (would) happen. This crime is so senseless."