A 15-year-old school girl has died after she was stabbed in the neck with a machete-style blade on a bus in Croydon, South West London.
Eliyanna Andam, an aspiring lawyer, is said to have stepped in to “protect her friend”, who is said to have rejected flowers from an ex-boyfriend.
Emergency services were called to Wellesley Road on Wednesday (Sept. 27) morning after receiving reports that the pupil, of Nigerian descent and from a devout Christian family, had been stabbed. A bus driver and a passer-by initially provided assistance until paramedics arrived, but despite their efforts to save her, she was declared deceased 40 minutes later.
The head of London’s Metropolitan Police, Sir Mark Rowley, who attended the crime scene on the evening of the attack, said the “senseless murder” was “impossible to comprehend”. A 17-year-old boy, who is believed to have known the victim, was arrested a short while later in the Croydon area, the Met Police confirmed.
Chief Superintendent Andy Brittain said at a news conference: “This is every parent’s worst nightmare. I know the officers who responded this morning, along with our emergency service colleagues, are devastated at the victim’s death. This is an emotion I share, and I know people across Croydon will be feeling the same.”
On Thursday (Sept. 28) morning, Pastor Lorraine Jones told Sky News that the weapon reportedly used to slash Eliyanna’s neck reminded her of the blade that took the life of her own son. “You can’t imagine the scale of fear and anxiety in our young girls,” she said. “This will continue until we support the grassroots. I lost my son; I know what [her mother] is going through. I pray she can survive this, and she can. I know the father is going through pain, too.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has been urged to provide additional funding to aid anti-knife crime, said: “My thoughts and prayers are with this young girl’s family and friends, and the whole community, at this unimaginably awful time.”
A number of police vehicles have cordoned off the Route 60 bus, which had been heading towards Streatham Station, while forensic officers continue to examine the scene.