Murder in Croydon: School pays tribute to girl, 15, stabbed to death as 17-year-old boy arrested

Old Palace Of John Whitgift School has paid tribute to a 15-year-old girl who was stabbed to death on her way to school on Wednesday morning.
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A school in London has paid a tribute to a ‘much-loved’ 15-year-old girl who was stabbed to  death on Wednesday (September 17). The teenager, a pupil at Old Palace Of John Whitgift School - a private girls’ school in Croydon - was killed on her way to school during the rush hour on Wednesday (September 27). 

The school released a statement that 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.”

The attack took place at around 8.30am, with the girl being pronounced dead at the scene. A 17-year-old boy who knows the victim has been arrested and remains in custody as a murder investigation gets underway, the Metropolitan Police has confirmed. Police also said they're not looking for anyone else in connection to the investigation.

Earlier, it was reported that a bus driver and a passer-by desperately tried to save the teenage girl’s life. A mother-of-two, who wanted to be named only as Bridget, said: “I was on the bus before and came off and walked back down, I saw them resuscitating her.

“The driver was holding her, and a lady. The emergency services were already here when I walked back.” She said two other schoolgirls, believed to be the victim’s friends, were trying to get back through the police cordon but were held back.

Both the land and air ambulance attended but she was pronounced dead at the scene 50 minutes later. 

Chief Superintendent Andy Brittain said: “Our immediate thoughts are with this young girl’s family who are facing the most tragic news. Our officers are with the girl’s family to support them.

The scene near the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon, south London after a 15-year-old girl was stabbed to death on Wednesday morning. (PA)The scene near the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon, south London after a 15-year-old girl was stabbed to death on Wednesday morning. (PA)
The scene near the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon, south London after a 15-year-old girl was stabbed to death on Wednesday morning. (PA)

“I am in contact with the local community, who are clearly as concerned as we are about this tragic incident. I shall continue to update them throughout the day.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was “absolutely heartbroken” at the news of the girl’s death.

A large police cordon was put in place outside the Whitgift Centre, with a red double decker bus on route 60, three police vehicles and about a dozen officers behind the police tape.

A bunch of flowers had been placed directly next to a forensic tent within the cordon. The attack is not believed to have happened on the bus.

Forensics officers and a dog handler were working at the scene as the police investigation continued.

Transport for London said bus routes 60, 407 and 455 were being diverted away from the area “due to a police incident”.

Witnesses or anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting reference CAD 1601/27Sep, to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or online.

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