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Girl, 15, stabbed to death in Croydon after teenage boy 'tried to give her flowers' on bus
27 September 2023, 12:55 | Updated: 28 September 2023, 13:15
Emergency services remain on scene after a 15-year-old girl was stabbed to death in Croydon
A 15-year-old schoolgirl stabbed to death in south London was attacked after a teenage boy tried to give her flowers on a bus, witnesses have said.
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The girl died shortly before 10am after she was stabbed after getting off a bus in Croydon.
Witnesses told LBC that the girl had been presented with a bunch of flowers, before a row broke out, and she was attacked.
One witness who works nearby told LBC: “We’re hearing that the boy bought her flowers or something like that.
“If that was your daughter, your sister or your cousin, you don’t want to hear that news.
“15, that is young.”
An eyewitness, who gave her name as Apple, claimed she saw a young boy and girl arguing.
Apple told MailOnline: "She then said something which made him flip, he became very violent and pulled out a long knife, like a sword or machete, and stabbed her."
A bus driver and a passer-by tried to save her life, according to another witness.
A mother-of-two who was on the bus told the Mirror: “I was on before. I saw them resuscitating her.
“The driver was holding her, and a lady. The emergency services were already here when I walked back.”
She said two other girls, believed to be friends of the victim, were trying to get through the police cordon but were held back.
Another witness told the Evening Standard she was stabbed after an argument broke out: “They both got off the bus, she said something, then he pulled out a long knife knife with a jagged edge. It was like a machete or something.
“She was stabbed. I had to look away.”
Another said: “There were people with kids on the bus. Everyone was running in a panic.”
The girl was a pupil at the Old Palace of John Whitgift school in Croydon. The school said in a statement today: “We are deeply shocked by the senseless and tragic death of our much-loved and valued friend and pupil.
"It will take some time for the Old Palace community to come to terms with this terrible news, and we will offer support to our pupils as we try to do so.
"Above all, we send our love and deepest sympathies to the girl’s family at this unimaginably distressing time.”
The girl was wearing her school uniform when she was stabbed. Paramedics battled for an hour to save her, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police confirmed the girl's death in a statement, adding: “Our immediate thoughts are with this young girl’s family."
Scotland Yard said a teenager had been arrested at around 9.45am in the Croydon area.
“At this early stage we believe that he may have known her,” police said.
One witness said she was stabbed on board a bus and when it happened "everyone ran off."
"She must only have been about secondary school age," the witness added.
Police said they were called at about 8.30am today to reports of a 15-year-old girl stabbed on Wellesley Road in Croydon.
Police, paramedics and the air ambulance attended. They tried to save her life for nearly an hour but she was pronounced dead at 9.21am.
Chief Superintendent Andy Brittain said: "Our immediate thoughts are with this young girl's family who are facing the most tragic of news. Our officers are with the girl's family to support them.
"I am in contact with the local community, who are clearly as concerned as we are about this tragic incident. I shall continue to update them throughout the day."
London Mayoral candidate Susan Hall said: "This is truly awful. A young girl making her way to school has lost her life in the most horrific circumstances.
"I cannot imagine what her friends and family are going through right now and my thoughts are with them."
Jason Perry, Mayor of Croydon, said: "I am devastated to hear that the teenage girl who was stabbed in the town centre this morning has tragically died.
"The Council are in touch with the police and will fully support their investigations. Our whole community’s thoughts will be with the victim’s family and friends.
"A suspect, who is believed to have known the victim, has been located and arrested by local police officers, and I would like to thank all those who responded so quickly and professionally to the incident."
Wellesley Road was shut northbound between the Whitgiff Centre and St Michael's Road.
Video footage from the scene shows a large police and ambulance services response at a bus stop with four ambulance vehicles nearby.
A number 60 bus can also be seen in one picture, surrounded by police cars, with officers standing nearby.
One witness told LBC earlier: “There were ambulances and police all around the area.
“Traffic was still moving at this point and people were being transferred from a bus onto different ones as it happened just by the bus stop outside the Whitgift.
“A policeman said to me and a few other women it was a stabbing.
“He said the perpetrators hadn’t been found at this point, they had ran towards east Croydon.”
The Sun newspaper reported a witness on the number 60 bus to Streatham Station, who didn't want to be named, said: "Someone attacked a young girl.
"The victim was a schoolgirl, she must only have been about secondary school age. She was wearing a green school uniform.
"When it happened everybody ran off the bus."
Transport for London (TfL) has diverted its 60, 407, and 455 routes due to the incident.