Police have launched a murder investigation after a teenager was stabbed to death in front of families at a children’s playground in north London.
The Metropolitan Police have named the victim as Stephen Appleton, 18, although his body has not yet been formally identified.
Detectives believe that Appleton was at Islington’s Nightingale Park with some friends, when two youths pulled up on a moped and stabbed him repeatedly with a large knife in broad daylight.
After the attack, Appleton attempted to cycle home but collapsed around 50 yards from the scene at Caldy Walk, where neighbours tended to him as they awaited the emergency services, the Evening Standard reported.
The attackers are believed to have fled towards the New River Green estate, according to the newspaper.
The teenager was rushed to a north London hospital, but was pronounced dead at 7:45pm shortly after he arrived. His next of kin have been informed, and a post mortem examination is due to take place. No arrests have yet been made.
Floral tributes now line the road where he was fatally stabbed.
The site of the 7th teenage stabbing murder this year - Islington, where 17 yr old Stefan Appleton died last night pic.twitter.com/eb7SjiwsqH— luke hanrahan (@luketomhanrahan) June 11, 2015
Appleton’s loved ones have been paying tribute to him on social media, with some claiming he had been the innocent victim of a turf war between rival gangs in the area.
His sister Paige-Ashlei Appleton wrote on Facebook, according to The Mirror: "The boy who got stabbed was my brother, such a lovely boy taken too soon... Me and my family appreciate the love & support from everyone."
Friend Emily Meddings tweeted: "My heart is broken. Never felt a pain like this.
"Thought I’d wake up and it would all be a dream. miss u already x".
RIP Stefan Appleton I didn't even know him well but used to see him around a lot. Very humble kid. pic.twitter.com/J8qe6nUey0— 賢いです (@wizetheproducer) June 11, 2015
One friend wrote in a tweet seen by the Evening Standard: “He was quiet and polite and would always say hello. He was never in any trouble and I mean that.
“He was killed because he lived here and other people came into the area to cause trouble. They went after the first person they saw.”
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Jones, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command (HMCC), who is running the investigation, said: “I am very keen to hear from everyone who was in the area of Caldy Walk and Nightingale Park on Wednesday, 10 June, especially anyone who witnessed the attack on the victim or who has information in relation to the moped.”
“We are also keen to hear from anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious or who has information that could assist the investigation.”
The moped involved is described as having a clear front screen and displayed an L plate to the rear.
Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to call the incident room on 020 8345 3734 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.Reuse content