Neighbours mourning loss of boys, 16, stabbed to death a mile apart

Neighbours are mourning the loss of two 16-year-old boys who were fatally stabbed just a mile apart in south-east London.

One boy was found with stab wounds in Titmuss Avenue, Thamesmead, and the other in Sewell Road, Abbey Wood, on Saturday afternoon.

Police investigating the stabbings are working to establish whether there is a link due to their proximity.

Crime scenes remained in place at both locations on Sunday morning with police offices guarding the cordoned off areas.

Several teenage boys laid flowers by the cordon in Titmuss Avenue, where a forensics tent could still be seen by some knocked over dustbins.

One was tearful as he placed a red love-heart balloon alongside them.

Officers later cordoned off a black Nissan with one saying it is a “car of interest” in the investigation.

Bamidele Folorunso, a neighbour who did not give her age but lives nearby and was on the way to church, told the PA news agency: “It is very sad.

“We just found out the boy was on the floor and the police came and they tried to resuscitate him.”

A visibly upset Ms Folorunso said: “Since then, everyone in the area has been mourning. It is very sad to lose a 16-year-old boy.”

Victor, 30, a football manager, who says he went to school with the victim’s mother, said the stabbing was “not normal” for the area but things have been getting worse in recent years.

“There is a lot of stuff going on on the street with the young kids – it’s due to the lack of youth centres.

“There is not really a place where kids say ‘this is a safe environment’.”

“I’ve got three kids. I went and told my partner (about the stabbing) and she said ‘I want to get out of here’.”

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Teresa Cheshire, 50, who also lives on the road, said her children walk down the road every day.

She said: “I just saw a lot of people by the bin shed.

“All I heard was the screaming and that was at 5.20pm.

“It is scary because it is all the press and everything but it is for all the wrong reasons.

“I’m frightened to let my kids outside now.

“It’s just shocking.”

Gillian Southwest, 48, who also lives on the road, said: “It is terrible. I have lived here for 28 years.

“If it’s the boy I think it is he’s a really a good boy.”

A 32-year-old man, who did not wish to be named but lived on the road all his life, said he was waiting for an ambulance for his grandmother when a commotion began.

“I heard some noise at about 6 o’clock – the bins were all rattling.

“There are always some kids running through making noise but something like this is out of the ordinary.

“To hear something like this in this area is shocking.”