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Boy, 14, stabbed to death in broad daylight named by police
24 April 2021, 14:34 | Updated: 24 April 2021, 21:04
A 14-year-old boy who was stabbed to death in broad daylight in east London has been named by police.
Fares Maatou died at the scene of the attack in Barking Road, Newham, on Friday afternoon.
The Metropolitan Police said it was called to the location shortly before 4pm where the teenager was found with stab injuries.
Despite the efforts of the emergency services he was pronounced dead half an hour later.
The force said officers believe Fares was attacked with "a large bladed item".
A 14-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy were arrested on suspicion of murder on Friday, while another 15-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the incident, police said.
Detective Chief Inspector Perry Benton said at the scene: "Yesterday evening shortly before four o'clock, Fares was coming down Barking Road with a friend where they came across a group of individuals.
"Fares was attacked by at least two males and he received fatal injuries.
"Those responsible have obviously cruelly taken away a much-loved son and much-loved friend from his friends and family."
A post-mortem is still due to take place.
A pile of floral tributes and some balloons were placed outside the Zzetta Soul Fired Pizza restaurant on Barking Road.
A member of staff from the restaurant said a FedEx worker, an off-duty police officer and a woman rushed to Fares' aid.
"They were just shouting at him, 'wake up, wake up, try to breathe'," the worker said.
"Three or four of us were all shouting loudly, 'one, two, three', so there was a rhythm for compression."
He said Fares, wearing a school uniform, was "totally blacked out".
"When the doctor announced him dead he broke the news to his sister and she almost collapsed," he said.
"Looking at the family bonding I think he was a really loved one."
DCI Benton said: "Fares's family are, of course, absolutely devastated.
"I have assured them of my total commitment to bringing to justice those responsible for this senseless killing. They will be supported by specialist officers at every stage of what will be a terrible ordeal for them in the weeks, months and years ahead."
"We have already seen fantastic support and received a good deal of information from local people.
"I thank them for that, and ask anyone with information or any witnesses who have yet to speak with police to please come forward and tell officers what they know.
"We are piecing together the picture of what happened on Friday afternoon and every fragment of that picture will be crucial.
"Three boys have been arrested and they remain in police custody.
"This is a fast-moving investigation and there will be further developments."
A close friend, speaking through tears, said Fares "loved life".
The 15-year-old, who asked not to be named, said he "had nothing to do with the gang stuff around here".
"He would just be there for you. If you ever needed him he would be there."
The Met said it had stopped and searched two males after responding to reports of a fight at the vigil, but nothing was found and they were not arrested.