Bystanders fled in terror as the group of at least five men attacked the 23-year-old in Camden Town, north London. The victim, a Somalian national, named only as Asant, was treated by paramedics but pronounced dead at the scene. Police said a second man, in his mid-20s, was found nearby with a stab wound and was taken to hospital where he was in a stable condition last night.
A friend of Asant’s, who asked to stay anonymous, said he was a “regular guy” who was “in the wrong place at the wrong time”.
“We were all scared. Everybody just scattered and ran.
“He probably stopped to help others because that’s the kind of person he is, and got in the way.
“He was the best of all of us and he had a big heart. We were crying in the street.”
The witness said police arrived promptly at the scene on Thursday night and were “quick to jump on everyone”.
No arrests have been made.
The friend claimed the same gang had fired off shots nearby in a recent outrage.
Yesterday tearful relatives of Asant’s visited the spot where he was killed.
Construction worker Lee Booty, who lives on the high street, said some people were making it harder for the police to do their job by banging on the side of their patrol car.
He added: “The police force are going mad, they have had enough of it.
“There were people on the corner here shouting and screaming and getting searched.
“They were shouting about injustices and saying, ‘I won’t move, why should I move?’.
“The police wanted this area clear and they were angry – they are entitled to be. We are all angry. This is a common trend now.”
The murder was the third in Camden and the sixth in London this week, taking the capital’s knife crime death toll for 2019 to 60. Appealing for witnesses to come forward, Chief Super-
intendent Raj Kohli said police were working across the borough “to keep everyone safe”.
He added: “The local community will no doubt be alarmed and shocked by this latest attack, particularly coming so soon after the fatal incidents earlier this week.” Campaigner Danny O’Brien, of Anti-Knife UK, said: “We have lost 60 people to knife crime in London this year and 19 of those have been teenagers.
“The numbers could be a lot higher if we did not have some top surgeons and ambulance staff.
“We have just had empty words about getting tough on knife crime and now it is like putting the genie back into the bottle.”