First picture of man, 22, stabbed to death in south London

10 February 2021, 20:47 | Updated: 10 February 2021, 21:00

Lavaun Witter was stabbed to death on Friday evening
Lavaun Witter was stabbed to death on Friday evening. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

The family of a 22-year-old man stabbed to death in south London have paid tribute to him, saying he was “destined for greatness”.

Lavaun Witter was attacked at a property in Croydon on Friday evening and pronounced dead at the scene.

His family said on Wednesday they are "absolutely devastated" and his local community is "distraught".

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They said in a statement: "No one could have seen this coming. Lavaun was destined for greatness and he wanted to fly high.

"He just wanted to have a good life and to take care of his family.

"Everyone who knows him will remember him as a legend. We are all absolutely traumatised.

"We don't know how we are going to go on. It is just too painful. Long Live Lavz."

Another 22-year-old man, Sven Badzak, was stabbed to death in Kilburn, north London, on Saturday amid a weekend of bloodshed in the capital.

Sven Badzak was stabbed to death in Kilburn
Sven Badzak was stabbed to death in Kilburn. Picture: PA

A resident who has lived for more than 20 years in a block of flats near where Mr Witter was killed said she saw police and medical staff trying to save him.

Emergency services had been called to the scene in Wisbeach Road just after 8pm.

The witness, who asked not to be named, said Mr Witter's mother later showed up "crying and in pieces".

She said a man was bleeding from a deep cut to his leg and there was "blood everywhere".

"I came down and saw two police and two ambulance guys on the ground with him," she said.

She added: "They tried really hard to save him but there was a lot of blood."

Forensics officers in Wisbeach Road, Croydon, after the fatal stabbing
Forensics officers in Wisbeach Road, Croydon, after the fatal stabbing. Picture: PA

Police said another man also suffered a stab wound at the house, but had been taken to hospital before they arrived and is now in a stable condition.

Detective Chief Inspector Kate Kieran is appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.

She said: "Someone knows who did this and I would urge anyone who saw or heard anything shortly after 8pm on Friday evening to come forward, no matter how insignificant you think your information might be, it could help us piece together what happened.

"Our thoughts are with Lavaun's family who have been left devastated by his loss."

No arrests have been made.

Ms Kieran said the stabbing was "one of a number of violent incidents" in south London on Friday evening but added "there is nothing to connect these incidents together at this time".

Five incidents were reported in south London between 6.56pm and 9.12pm.

Nine other men were wounded on Friday, but all are in stable conditions.