LONDON: Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder following a triple stabbing in east London yesterday evening.
Officers were called to a disturbance in Elmstead Road, Ilford, at 7.38pm on Sunday, with three male victims, believed to have been in their 20s and 30s, pronounced dead at the scene.
This morning the Metropolitan Police said they had arrested two men aged 29 and 39 over the knife attack.
Speaking at the scene today, Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman said the suspects and victims were all thought to be known to each other and were members of the Sikh community.
He added: ‘It was a horrific scene for anyone to come across and my heart goes out to the families and those affected by it because it is unprecedented to have something like this.’
In a later statement he added: ‘A fight has taken place which has escalated, resulting in three people being fatally attacked.’
Police are still contacting members of the deceased men’s families. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said his thoughts are ‘with the families and the local community at this dreadful time’.
In a statement he called the incident a ‘tragic reminder of the evil scourge of knife crime that continues to plague our entire country’.
The Mayor said he had been in talks with Met Police officers, Redbridge Council and MP Sam Tarry and promised to do ‘everything possible’ to support the community.
He added: ‘The only way we will tackle violent crime for good is with a laser-like focus on catching criminals by being tough on crime and, just as importantly, by addressing the underlying root causes of violence such as poverty, inequality and social alienation.
‘This will require a huge increase in Government funding for public services including the police, sports facilities and local councils.
‘There is simply no other solution to the problem.’
The owner of Seven Kings Cars opposite the railway station said a man with blood on his hands had approached him on Sunday evening asking for help after three people had been badly injured.
Nadeem Rana said: ‘I was shocked. He had blood on his hands and he said there were people in very poor condition.’
He recalled how the man and a passenger who had been waiting for a taxi made off towards the scene to help.
Mr Rana added: ‘It’s shocking, a feeling of insecurity to be honest.’
Local resident Lauren Marshall said she and other neighbours had gone out into Elmstead Road when they saw flashing blue lights last night.
The 26-year-old paralegal added: ‘By the time I came out, the road was blocked and there were police everywhere. It was manic. Everyone was coming out their houses.
‘I’ve lived here my whole life and nothing like this has ever happened. It was a shock.’
A police forensics tent was visible in Salisbury Road near what Ms Marshall said was the stairway to the railway station.
Formal identification of the victims has yet to take place, and post-mortem examinations have also yet to be arranged.