Afghan refugee, 18, killed in fatal stabbing near Kingston

  Posted: 13.10.21 at 17:38 by Rory Poulter

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A teenage Afghan refugee was stabbed to death on playing fields near Kingston borough yesterday afternoon.

Hazrat Wali, a student at Richmond College, has been locally named as the victim of a fatal stabbing at Craneford playing fields in Twickenham.

The violent attack took place in broad daylight near school pupils being given rugby training on the fields and one of the teachers rushed to the scene to offer first aid.

But despite his best efforts and those of a team from the London Ambulance Service, Hazrat later died in hospital.

A witness told the London Evening Standard: "There was a teacher in a rugby kit, he was trying to save the boy.

"He was giving CPR. There were two girls next to him, they were crying.

Flowers were left at the crime scene in Twickenham today (Image: James Mayer)

"He was a real hero, it was a terrible scene."

Richmond School said it will offer support to pupils affected by the tragedy through its Student Wellbeing team.

A relative of Hazrat, who lives in Stanmore, told the Evening Standard: "Hazrat was a very good boy. He came here to study, he was living all on his own in London. His immediate family are all back in Afghanistan.

"I saw him in hospital. He had a fight is all that I’ve heard."

Hazrat's close friend Sahil Kochay said: “He was a very good person. Very caring and loved everyone.

The area remains sealed off and police are appealing for witnesses (Image: James Mayer)

"He didn’t hold any hate towards anybody. He used to stand up for everyone. I wish I knew why someone would hurt him. He wasn’t the kind of guy to fight.”

Richmond College principal, Dr Jason Jones, said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the student’s family and friends at this difficult time.

"This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our students, parents, staff and local community.

"We have implemented our College’s Emergency Response Plan. This will provide assistance to our students as necessary and has evolved from Local Authorities’ experience with death in the past and the advice of mental health professionals from the community.

"We have deployed additional resources to the Student Services team who are providing support and counselling to students and staff on site.

"Safety remains our number one priority and we will continue to do all we can to keep our students safe at college.

"To that end, we have enhanced security and surveillance at our entrances following yesterday’s incident and are continuing to work in full co-operation with the Metropolitan police, who are handling the matter."

The police have not yet formally confirmed the identity of the victim.

But they said the teenager's next of kin are aware and are being supported by specialist officers.

This morning a crime scene and cordons remained in place.

South West London police chiefs put out an appeal for information on what happened.

Detective Chief Inspector Vicky Tunstall said: "The incident occurred in a playing field area and was witnessed by a number of people.

"Some of those people are believed to have filmed events as they unfolded; I ask that any videos are not shared via social media to avoid causing the young man’s family any more distress at this already incredibly difficult time for them.

"Instead, please go to the police immediately. A number of people have spoken to us, but we need to hear from anyone who has information that could help.

"We’re working to establish the motive behind this tragic incident and following a number of leads. If you believe you can help us, then please make contact."

Update: A 16-year-old boy has now been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Chief Superintendent Elisabeth Chapple, commander for policing in south-west London, said: "Our thoughts are with the young victim and his family at this awful time. No young person should lose their life in London and we will do all we can to support out colleagues with their investigation.

"Local residents can expect to see an increased police presence in the area. If anyone has any concerns, or information that could help, I encourage them to contact those officers and tell us what they know."

More coverage of the incident can be found here.

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