A 16-year-old boy was attacked with a glass shard after confronting a youth who had smashed a shop window, becoming the 13th teenager to be murdered in London this year.
Jimmy Mizen was found with serious neck injuries at the Three Cooks bakery in Hither Green, southeast London. Paramedics and an air ambulance were called, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Witnesses said Jimmy intervened after a youth who had been thrown out of the shop for being rude to the staff picked up an A-board sign from the pavement and hurled it through the window, shattering the glass.
One said that there was "blood everywhere" and described the aftermath of the "unprovoked attack" as like "a scene from a Quentin Tarantino movie".
Al Patel, who works next door to the baker's at Lee Pharmacy, said Jimmy's attacker "went ballistic".
"It was total chaos," he said. "This lad got thrown out twice and he just didn't like it. He lifted the A-board over his head and smashed the glass. The manager of the shop had blood coming down her face. That shop is mostly run by women and I think Jimmy was trying to be brave and sort the mad kid out. Customers ran in and told me to call police. An ambulance came and police turned up shortly after, but they were too late. The boy was dead. It's sad, it's a real tragedy. I really feel for the parents."
Jimmy, who lived nearby with his family, had been shopping in the bakery with his family when he confronted the youth at 11.50am.
He had turned 16 on Friday. He had also just left the St Thomas More Catholic Comprehensive School in Eltham on study leave, prior to his exams. His father, Barry, is understood to be vice-chairman of the school's board of governors.
Paul Godfrey, an estate agent, wrote on a local newspaper website: "I work on the corner and ran up to help and I can only describe what I saw as shocking. I really feel for the boy's brother and mother who were in the shop with him. This is a tragic waste of life. The boy was a good kid and not in any gang."
Catherine Busby, 87, a neighbour of the Mizen family for 30 years, said: "He was a beautiful boy from a beautiful family. They're all in terrible shock. They are all very good to me. He was going to cut my grass tomorrow."
On the social networking site Facebook, Jimmy's friends spoke of their shock, and paid tribute to their "quality mate".
Detective Chief Inspector Cliff Lyons said: "This is another tragic incident where a young victim has lost his life, and our sympathies are with his family and friends. There was an argument between Jimmy and the suspect, following which Jimmy was assaulted and he sustained serious neck injuries."
The cause of death will not be known until a post-mortem examination. No arrests had been made last night, police said.Reuse content