Croydon stabbing: Tributes paid to ‘much-loved’ and ‘valued’ 15-year-old girl stabbed to death on school bus

A girl was fatally stabbed on a double-decker bus in Wellesley Road, by the Whitgift Centre, in Croydon while on the way to Old Palace of John Whitgift School.
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Tributes have been paid to a “much-loved” and “valued” schoolgirl who was stabbed to death in Croydon, south London this morning (September 27).

Police cars and ambulances surrounded a red double-decker bus in Wellesley Road, near the Whitgift Centre, following the attack at 8.30am.

The 15-year-old school student died at 9.21am. A crime scene remains in place.

A 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the stabbing, with police saying it is believed he may have known the victim. He remains in custody and will be questioned by detectives.

The girl was on her way to Old Palace of John Whitgift School, a private girls’ school in Croydon.

In a statement the school said: “We are deeply shocked by the senseless and tragic death of our much-loved and valued friend and pupil.

“It will take some time for the Old Palace community to come to terms with this terrible news, and we will offer support to our pupils as we try to do so.

“Above all, we send our love and deepest sympathies to the girl’s family at this unimaginably distressing time.”

A white forensic tent has since been erected within a police cordon outside the Whitgift Centre A white forensic tent has since been erected within a police cordon outside the Whitgift Centre
A white forensic tent has since been erected within a police cordon outside the Whitgift Centre

A police crime scene remains in place around the number 60 bus.

Speaking to journalists at the scene, south London, Metropolitan Police Ch Sup Andy Brittain said officers arrived within two minutes of being called.

He said: “This is every parent’s worst nightmare, and 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.

“The victim’s family has been informed and our thoughts are with them at what must be an incredibly difficult time.

“We carried out urgent inquiries to find the suspect and within 75 minutes of the incident happening a 17-year-old boy was arrested in New Addington.

“He remains in custody and will be questioned by detectives.

“We remain in the early stages of our investigation, however based on what we know so far we believe that we are not looking for anyone else in connection with this offence.

“From our initial inquiries, we believe the suspect may have known the victim. However, we’re not in a position to release the victim’s identity at this time.”

Ch Supt Andy Brittain and others speaking to the press in Croydon. Ch Supt Andy Brittain and others speaking to the press in Croydon.
Ch Supt Andy Brittain and others speaking to the press in Croydon.

Donna Murray-Turner, chairwoman of the local Safer Neighbourhood Board near the scene of the stabbing in Croydon, told reporters: “The impact this has had on the community is immense. It is devastating that another young life has been taken and we the community stand with our partners and the family and honouring that grief and that morning.”

Croydon MP Sarah Jones said: “I’m heartbroken that a child in my town has been killed on her way to school and I cannot imagine the grief that her family will be going through at this time.

“I want to thank the police and the ambulance services for trying so hard to save her life. They run into danger and I know they will be suffering today, too.

“I want to repeat the request from the police that if anybody has any information so anything please do get in touch.

“We all hold our children close and our community will take time to grieve, but for today we are just thinking of this young girl and her family. I’m so sorry.”

Croydon mayor Jason Perry said: “We all personally feel devastated by the events that have happened here in Croydon this morning and the tragic loss of such a young life.

“The community is feeling hurt right now and we will do everything we can to support the community through such a very difficult time.”