Fellow pupil of schoolgirl stabbed to death in Croydon describes heartbreaking moment students were told of her killing

28 September 2023, 18:18 | Updated: 29 September 2023, 09:23

Classmate of girl stabbed to death in Croydon calls LBC

By Will Taylor

A fellow student of the 15-year-old girl who was stabbed to death in Croydon has spoken of the heartbreaking moment pupils were told about her death.

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Anniyah, who goes to Old Palace of John Whitgift school, knew Elianne Andam since Year 7.

The teenager was stabbed in the neck as she helped her friend in a fight after getting off a bus on the way to the independent school in south London.

Anniyah told LBC's Tom Swarbrick that the entire school "is in shock" and attendance today was optional for anyone who wanted to attend a memorial.

She said Elianne was always nice to her, although the two were not direct friends.

The student said the fact "someone can just not be in your life anymore... because of one person's inhumane actions is just horrible".

Elianne was stabbed to death in Croydon
Elianne was stabbed to death in Croydon. Picture: Social media

She said: "There was a sort of eerie calm in the morning and then towards halfway through third period we were all called out into assembly, where we were told that in the morning the Whifgift centre incident had been Elianne, and she passed away.

"And our school community is quite a tight one, so it's obviously, it's a feeling you don't forget when everyone, no matter if they knew her or didn't, they all were united by the fact that knife crime is just despicable."

Read more: 'Our hearts are broken': Family of girl, 15, stabbed to death in Croydon pay tribute to 'bright and funny' daughter

Anniyah said her mother has long been hesitant about her going out in Croydon.

"As a young person, we shouldn't have to be going through this. As a young person, at 15 years old, our biggest worry in our lives should be what our futures are going to be like, if we have homework, if we have any exams to care for.

"We should be thinking about what futures are going to be like, not if we are going to have a future at all."

Police officers at the scene where the teenager was stabbed
Police officers at the scene where the teenager was stabbed. Picture: Alamy

Elianne was stabbed in the neck while she took the bus past the Whitgift centre on Wednesday morning.

She got off to help her friend during a fight that broke out when she rejected a teenage boy's flowers and love letter.

It has now emerged how her loving family saved up their money so she could chase her dreams.

Marian, her aunt, told MailOnline: "You just can't comprehend the heartbreak of the last 24 hours, how Elianne went to school and never came home.

Read more: 'Love note' found at Croydon stabbing scene after girl, 15, killed when fight broke out 'over flowers' on bus

Family and friends left tributes to Elianne on Thursday
Family and friends left tributes to Elianne on Thursday. Picture: Alamy

"She wanted to be a lawyer, she went to private school paid for by my sister and had a great future ahead of her. She was a lovely girl, she loved doing her hair, had beautiful natural hair, and she really loved gymnastics.

"We're a big family and we are all here for our sister, to support her. This has left us absolutely devastated. My sister is not feeling good, this only happened yesterday. It hasn't sunk in yet, it's a tragedy."

Witnesses have said the attacker tried to give flowers to his ex-girlfriend on a bus, but they were rejected, and the victim was then stabbed in the neck after she stepped in to protect her friend.

A teenager, 17, has been arrested and is being questioned by police.

Elianne was named on Thursday as her family paid tribute.

"Our hearts are broken by the senseless death of our daughter," their statement said.

"Elianne was the light of our lives. She was bright and funny, with many friends who all adored her. She was only 15, and had her whole life ahead of her, with hopes and dreams for the future.

"All those dreams have now been shattered. Our lives have fallen apart, along with that of our wider family.

"We ask the media to please respect our privacy as we try to grieve the short life of our beautiful child."