Three arrested over Shaquille murder

Two more people have been arrested over the murder of Shaquille Smith in London on Saturday, Scotland Yard said today.

Meanwhile, the family of the 14-year-old said today that the teenager will "always be in our hearts."

The youngster died after being stabbed in the stomach in St Thomas's Place in Hackney, east London, on Saturday. His sister, Tahira, 16, also suffered knife wounds in the attack and needed hospital treatment.

Residents described seeing a group of around 15 youths on bikes ride up and attack Shaquille as he sat on a bench in a small park in front of his house. The latest arrests followed that of a male in his late teens in the early hours of this morning.

In a statement released today his family said that Shaquille was devoted to his baby sister and had ambitions to live and work in Jamaica. His mother said: "For 13 years, Shaquille was the youngest of my four children, until I had his baby sister a year ago. He wanted a boy, so that he could play football with him. When he had a baby sister he was mesmerised by her, and being the big brother she became the focus of his life."



"Shaquille loved life and his family, including those in Jamaica. He spent his young years growing up with his grandmother and other family members.



"Shaquille loved Jamaica, which he travelled to on a regular basis. He pleaded with me on a regular basis to let him live in Jamaica. When I asked him why he preferred Jamaica, he replied 'all my friends and family are on the same road, and I don't have to travel to see people. I feel free'."



His mother Sandra Maitland added that she had made a deal with her son that he would get good grades in return for being able to work in Jamaica when he was older.



She said: "His sister recently received her GCSE results and they were good. Shaquille made a bet with me that his results would be even better and he made me promise that when he got them I would buy him a car after he got his driving licence."



"Shaquille said to me a week before his death, 'Mum, this has been my best summer, I have really enjoyed myself. Usually I can't wait for it to be over so I can return to school, but this year I want to stay at home and have more fun'.



"Shaquille was special to us. We loved him dearly and he will always be in our hearts. There is nothing bad I can say about him. He was only 14. He was just happy. There is so much that can be said about Shaquille. But it would take a book to cover his short time he spent on earth."



On Monday, friends of Shaquille claimed he had been the innocent victim of a long-running gang war. One spoke of his shock at the attack and said the teenager had been caught in the crossfire of a battle he had nothing to do with.



The 20-year-old, who asked not to be named, said: "I have known him all my life. Shaq's a good guy - the class clown. Everyone knew him but for good reasons. He was innocent. I'm just totally shocked. His family are devastated. They are very quiet and don't want to talk to anyone."



The friend said a violent feud had rumbled on in Hackney between a gang from the London Fields area and a group from the E9 postcode.



"This isn't a feud - it's a war now," he said. "This all goes back to the (Notting Hill) Carnival 2006. There was a fight between one of the youngers from London Fields and an older from E9. The olders saw it as a disrespect thing. It's gone from fist fights to knives to guns and back to knives."



Members of the London Fields gang would travel to E9 to attack teenagers simply for hanging out in that area, he said. "When I was younger they tried to come down and shoot us nearly every day, but people like me got older and got tired of it," he said.



Shaquille, who was the 25th teenager to meet a violent death in the capital this year, lived in St Thomas's Place with his parents and three brothers and sisters.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee