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Teenager stabbed to death close to knife murder shrine

Abdikarim Hassan's mother cried 'that's my son' as paramedics tried to save his life

22 February, 2018 — By William McLennan

Abdikarim Hassan was one of two young men murdered on Tuesday evening

A 17-YEAR-OLD boy died in a stabbing, just yards from a shrine dedicated to another victim of knife crime.

Abdikarim Hassan suffered fatal wounds at the junction of Bartholomew Road and Islip Street, in the first of two murders in Camden on Tuesday evening. He collapsed on the pavement at around 8.30pm having been stabbed several times. His mother, alerted by the blue lights of an ambulance, rushed to the scene and looked on as paramedics and police officers battled to save her son’s life.

Later that night, the nearby Peckwater estate, where Abdikarim lived, was host to grieving friends and relatives for the second time within three days. A shrine had already been laid for Lewis Blackman, 19, who was stabbed to death in west London in the early hours of Sunday.

As word spread of Abdikarim’s death, a group of around 70 people gathered at the scene. The NW5 Project, a charitable community-run playgroup, opened their doors late at night to provide respite for the mourners. Neighbours remembered Abdikarim as a polite and friendly boy, who could regularly be found playing football on the estate’s astroturf pitch.

His relative, Daaud Baalwaan, said: “He was a bright young man. A very clever boy. But, now he is dead. His mother is in shock. She still can’t believe it was her son.” He said the boy’s mother “saw the ambulance and went to see what has happened”.

“She recognised his jumper,” Mr Baalwaan said. “She said, ‘I think that is my son’. Then she rang his phone and it was in his pocket. She heard it ring.” One neighbour said: “He wasn’t caught up in this sort of stuff. I used to see him playing football on the pitches all the time. If they leave flowers for him, I hope they leave them there.”

A forensic tent at the scene of the attack on Abdikarim Hassan

While London as a whole has seen a spate of young men killed in stabbings, the knife attacks which unfolded on Tuesday were the worst seen in Camden. Due to the volume and severity of the incidents, police called in the Territorial Support Group for extra support and offiers were asked to stay on beyond the end of their night-shifts.

Met police commissioner Cressida Dick said yesterday (Wednesday): “I have spoken all too often at the anger I feel at the senseless waste of life. Today, two more families are suffering a terrible loss and my thoughts are with them. The frequency with which some of our young people are prepared to take each other’s lives is shocking. For two young men to be murdered so close together – both in time and geography – makes this even harder to comprehend. Camden is a vibrant and diverse part of our city – the impact of these murders will be felt right throughout that community.”

She added: “My detectives are already investigating and I know that they will do all they can to catch those responsible. If you know something that may help, then please let us know – if you would not normally speak to police then this is your chance to do the right thing. London must come together to make it clear that this cannot continue. We will not police our way out of this problem. There is a role for all of us – London’s public, our partners and the police.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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