Two teenagers, aged 15 and 16, have been charged with murder after two 16-year-old boys were fatally stabbed just a mile apart in south-east London, police said.
Kearne Solanke, 16, was found with stab wounds in Titmuss Avenue and Charlie Bartolo, 16, was discovered in Sewell Road on Saturday (26 November).
The Metropolitan Police said a 16-year-old boy had been arrested on Tuesday and a 15-year-old boy later in the day. They will appear in custody at Bexley Magistrates’ Court on Friday charged with the murders.
On Friday (2 December), police confirmed an 18-year-old man has also been arrested this morning on suspicion of the murders of Bartolo and Solanki. He remains in custody at a south London police station. Detective Chief Inspector Kate Blackburn, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “Today is another step forward in our investigation into this shocking incident but I would reiterate my appeal to anyone who has information about the events that resulted in the deaths of Charlie and Kearne to come forward and speak to police.”
Police were called at around 5.10pm on Saturday to reports that people had been injured at both locations and both youths were pronounced dead at the scene. Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command are investigating, the force added.
Speaking at the scene of one of the incidents at the weekend, Detective Superintendent Richard McDonagh said: “Homicide colleagues are investigating and are treating the two murders as linked.
“I can assure everybody affected by these murders that skilled detectives will work tirelessly to discover what happened and provide answers to the young victims and families.
“Officers are especially keen to hear from anyone who might have seen a dark-coloured SUV or 4X4 type with distinctive silver roof bars in the areas around Sewell Road or Titmuss Avenue in the days prior to the murders. We have already heard from a number of witnesses and I’m grateful to them.”
The Met said the two incidents are being treated by police as linked. Detective Chief Inspector Kate Blackburn, from the force’s Specialist Crime Command, previously said: “This is a positive development in what is a complex and fast-moving investigation. Charlie and Kearne’s families have been informed.
“Our investigation is ongoing and we continue to appeal for the public’s help as we build a picture of what happened on Saturday night. If you have information, no matter how insignificant you think it may be, please come forward.”
Local residents spoke of their dismay at the murders, with Titmuss Avenue resident Gillian Southwest, 48, calling the incidents “terrible”. She said: “I have lived here for 28 years. If it’s the boy I think it is he’s a really a good boy.”
A 32-year-old man who had lived on the road all of his life and did not wish to be named said he was waiting for an ambulance for his grandmother when a commotion began. He said: “I heard some noise at about 6 o’clock – the bins were all rattling. There are always some kids running through making noise but something like this is out of the ordinary. To hear something like this in this area is shocking.”
Anyone with any information about the incidents is urged to call the police on 101, giving the reference 4943/26NOV, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, by calling 0800 555 111.