Five held over knife murder of boy, 16

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The Independent Online

Five people have been arrested in connection with the murder of Shakilus Townsend, who was stabbed to death on Thursday afternoon in Thornton Heath, south London. Shakilus, 16, was the sixth person stabbed to death in London in five days and the 18th teenager to die in the capital this year in street violence.

Detectives are investigating the possibility that Shakilus was lured to his death by a girl wearing a floral dress, whom he had arranged to meet via text message. Eyewitnesses say he was set upon by three or four youths who attacked him with knives and baseball bats. As he lay bleeding, he told a member of the public who tried to save him: "I don't want to die. I want my mum."

Over the weekend police arrested four males, aged 16, 17, 18 and 22, and a 16-year-old girl in connection with his death. They remained in custody last night at south London police stations.

Relatives and friends of Shakilus, including his parents Nicola and Derek, visited the spot where he died yesterday. They mingled with those living near the scene who had desperately tried to save his life.

The capital's knife-crime epidemic continued on Saturday evening when two security guards at the Nike store on Oxford Street, central London, were stabbed by men who had apparently stolen clothing from the shop. Their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Hundreds of friends of Ben Kinsella, the 16-year-old murdered in Islington last week, held a candle-lit vigil early yesterday at the spot where he was stabbed.