Lone knife attacker suspected after sequence of seemingly random stabbings leaves victims with life-changing injuries

One man is fighting for his life and two other victims have been left with potentially life-changing injuries

Adam Lusher
Wednesday 03 April 2019 16:13 BST
Video shows Edmonton Green arrest

A lone knifeman may have been stabbing people at random in the street in Edmonton, north London, police have confirmed.

As the five attacks that left one man fighting for his life and two others with potentially life-changing injuries were described by police as seemingly “senseless” and “very unprovoked”, at least one local school was reported to have initiated a lockdown procedure.

Police said all five victims appeared to have been selected at random, and stabbed from behind without any attempt to engage in conversation.

The public was urged to remain alert despite the arrest of one man in Edmonton Green on Tuesday morning.

Speaking after the arrest, Chief Superintendent Helen Millichap said: “The actions of the suspect, the fact they are in a similar area, and the descriptions given, mean that we are potentially looking at just one individual perpetrator.

“However, until the investigation has developed further and we are in a position to speak with certainty about this, I have a duty to ask the public to remain vigilant and to please continue to report anything suspicious.”

Police said the attacks began just after 7pm on Saturday evening, when a 45-year-old woman was stabbed in the back in Aberdeen Road. She was airlifted to an east London hospital, where she is still being treated for injuries that have been described as life changing.

The second attack happened about half a mile away, at a quarter past midnight on Sunday morning, when a 52-year-old man was stabbed in Park Avenue, Edmonton. The victim was later discharged from hospital after treatment.

The third attack is thought to have occurred in Silver Street. A 23-year-old man was found near Seven Sisters Underground station at about 3.55am on Sunday morning, and taken to hospital, where he was treated for stab wounds before being discharged.

At 9.43am on Sunday morning, a 29-year-old man was found with a stab wound to the back in Brettenham Road. He remains in hospital being treated for injuries that police described as “not life-threatening, but potentially life-changing”.

The fifth stabbing occurred so close to the location of the first that the victim was able to stagger to the police cordon to seek help before collapsing. The man, thought to be in his thirties, is said to have been walking with a friend when he was attacked in Fairfield Road at about 5.05am on Tuesday morning.

He was able to stagger to the cordon around the site of the first stabbing, in Aberdeen Road, and is now in an east London hospital, where his condition was described as critical.

Police statement after a suspected knifeman arrested

At about 10am on Tuesday morning, police in Edmonton Green arrested a man in his thirties on suspicion of attempted murder. Prior to the arrest, they had issued a description of the suspected knifeman, saying he was a tall, skinny black man, wearing a hoody.

Witnesses to Tuesday morning’s arrest, said the man was surrounded by six officers and appeared “calm” as he was detained, without seeming to say anything or make an attempt to get away.

Police said the man remains in custody at a north London police station.

Officers had previously made two other arrests, both on Sunday.

A man arrested on Fore Street, at 10.53am on Sunday morning has now been released under investigation in relation to the stabbings, but has been charged with separate, unrelated offences.

A man in his forties was arrested in the street in Edmonton at about 5pm on Sunday was released on police bail on Wednesday.

As Ms Millichap admitted the stabbings had “caused a huge amount of worry and concern among the community”, a Section 60 order remained in place to allow officers in Edmonton to stop and search anyone to prevent further violence.

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It was also reported that Maureen Cobbett, head teacher of The Latymer School, a state grammar in Edmonton, had informed parents by email: “In response to the situation in Edmonton at the weekend … the school has a lockdown procedure in place.

“For precautionary purposes students are not allowed to leave the school premises during break-time and lunchtime until further notice. Students should bring their own food to eat; they will not be able to order food or leave the building to purchase food.”

Some local residents also admitted to feeling frightened, Mike Kalongi, 28, who lives near to the scene of some of the stabbings, admitted he had stopped walking to the gym at night, saying “It’s scary, really scary.”

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