A teenager was ambushed and stabbed by a gang in two cars and left dying just yards from his front door in the latest murder in London.
The 18-year-old collapsed from his wounds and died in the street in Forest Gate last night despite efforts by neighbours and paramedics to save him.
He was named locally as Sami Sidhom, a Queen Mary University student who dreamed of being a lawyer.
A former school friend said: “He was an A-star pupil, he got very good GCSE results. I think he was studying history and law. He was very bright and the kind of friend who would always support you. He was never in any trouble. I am totally shocked by this.”
Sami attended the prestigious Newham Collegiate Sixth Form, where 95 per cent of its A level pupils were last year offered places at Russell Group Universities.
Friend Tariq Bhugeloo added: “We called him ‘Mr Swot’ because he was so clever.
“He was an innocent boy, a good family boy. He was no gang member.”
It is the latest in a surge of killings in London and brings the number of teenagers to die in homicides this year to 12. Police have launched nearly 60 murder inquiries, many of them young people who were victims of gang stabbings.
Officers and paramedics were called to the scene in Chestnut Avenue, a res-idential street, at 10.50pm. Today witnesses told how he was ambushed by a gang in two cars, who knifed him in the back and groin. A neighbour said: “I heard a car screeching then someone wailing, ‘Help me I’ve been stabbed.’ He was stumbling across the road and collapsed near my house.”
Two boys with towels rushed to the victim’s side to stem the bleeding while paramedics arrived, the neighbour added. “I called 999. He was mumbling incoherently. It was horrific and traumatic.”
One local said: “Some guys in two cars jumped him and stabbed him in the right groin and back. They jumped back in their cars and sped off. It looked targeted.”
Another added: “They left him dying. We did our best to stop the blood. We came out when we heard shouting and screaming. We were praying he would pull through.” Mr Sidhom was pronounced dead half an hour later.
A neighbour said: “He was almost home. He was a nice boy. I saw him grow up. We are all devastated.” Resident Shahana Hussain added: “We saw the flashing lights and thought the worst. Gangs of boys hang around the corner where he was attacked all the time.
“I have a son who is 20, I fear for him, the streets are dangerous here. It has changed a lot.”
Today a police cordon remained in place around the crime scene, which is near Wanstead Flats. No arrests have been made.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “My heart goes out to the friends and family of the teenager who lost his life. I am in close contact with the police and they are doing everything they can to bring those responsible to justice. Every single death from knife crime is an absolute tragedy, and I am determined to rid our city of this dreadful scourge.
“Extra resources for police from City Hall are already being used for more enforcement work and perpetrators of violent crime are being targeted. We are relentlessly focusing on prevention — funding services for young people which give them a path away from crime.”
The latest death follows two fatal stabbings within an hour on Sunday. Samantha Clarke, 38, was killed in Brixton days after celebrating her son Joshua’s 14th birthday. Her husband Paul said: “She was a loving mum. Everything she did was for her son.” Just 36 minutes earlier, young father Raul Nicolaie, 26, was attacked in a flat in Colindale.
On Easter Monday, 17-year-old schoolgirl Tanesha Melbourne-Blake was shot dead in the street in Tottenham.
Last week Met Commissioner Cressida Dick said police were struggling to solve some gangland murders where detectives met a “wall of silence”. Extra officers were being drafted into homicides squads, she added.