A Kingston university student has died after being stabbed in savage attack in a busy high street.
Hussein Ahmed was pronounced dead last Wednesday, after his life-support machine was turned off.
The 19-year-old from Edgware was pulled off his bicycle as a gang of men confronted him outside the Kebabish takeaway on Northolt Road, Harrow, on Friday, November 18 at 5.10pm.
Emergency services had rushed to the scene after reports of a man being stabbed near South Harrow Underground station. Witnesses said the student ran away from his attackers with the blade still lodged in his chest.
Detectives arrested four men last Monday on suspicion of attempted murder. They were taken to a North London police station before being released on bail until early December pending further enquiries.
They are now appealing for witnesses to help in what they are now treating as a murder investigation.
“At this early stage, it is thought that the victim was attacked by a group of males, all of whom are described as black and believed to be aged in their teens or 20s,” said a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police.
Witnesses described the scene of horror as the teenager collapsed outside another takeaway further down the street.
Siva Kana, who was working at a local takeaway when the attack happened, said: “I saw from the back that someone had stabbed him. He ran and at the front of the kebab shop he fell down.
“I know him, he used to be a good boy. For the last six months, he would always hang out in this area.”
Some locals said the group of attackers knew the teenager.
“They know each other. They know the boy that was stabbed,” said Yoga Nathan, a worker from Chicken Hut.
A friend of Hussein described him as a “lovely, enthusiastic man” who was not involved with gangs.
Local residents described on social media their concern about crime rates in the area.
One Facebook user commenting on the incident wrote: “Have lived in South Harrow 45 years and have seen it going steadily downhill year after year. That end of the road is almost a no-go area after dark with yobs on street corners, very intimidating. The police station is only two minutes away but you never see any police around.”
Another wrote: “It’s crazy, I live just up the road from there and that row of shops are becoming a bit of a hot spot.”
The owner of a local hair salon said that there were “always kids here fighting”, and agreed that the street where the student was stabbed was a popular spot for groups to loiter.
“Every other day you see a fight out there, but the police come and stop it or something happens,” she said.
“I feel like there are less police in this area than there used to be. In the 10 years that I’ve been here I’ve seen more police patrols in other areas. Maybe we should have more around here.”
Metropolitan Police have appealed for more information and urged anyone with information to call the incident room on 020 8358 0400.