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

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003