Sierra Leone Telegraph: 30 April 2017
The brutal killing of another young Sierra Leonean on the streets of London’s inner city area of Peckham has heightened fear among Africans, and in particular – the Sierra Leonean community, as police were called at 3.15pm on Friday, 28 April to a chaotic and bloody scene, following reports of a stabbing incident on Peckham Rye close to Blenheim Grove.
Officers and the London Ambulance Service arrived at the scene where they found a 26 year old man with stab wounds and covered in a pool of blood. He was pronounced dead at 3.51pm.
According to police report, a post-mortem examination took place yesterday afternoon, Saturday 29th April, including formal identification of the deceased. But Sierra Leoneans living in the area have named the deceased as Bilal Kargbo (Photo).
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams of the Homicide and Major Crime Command said: “We are still trying to piece together the events that led to the victim tragically losing his life. At this early stage we believe he was involved in an altercation with another person prior to being stabbed.
“The incident drew a large crowd of onlookers who were on the street and in shops nearby at the time the incident happened. We are aware that a number of members of the public were filming the incident on their mobile phones and I would like to appeal directly to any of those people that have recorded footage to contact the police as soon as possible.”
The Sierra Leonean man – believed to be Bilal Kargbo is in his twenties, is said to be the sixth person to be killed by knives in London in just one week.
Local business owners were heard screaming and crying as they ran into the street to try and save the man following the attack in Peckham Rye.
Although the full circumstances of Bilal’s killing are sketchy, it is understood that Bilal went into a local shop in Peckham to get his phone repaired, when a drug dealer aggressively approached him and asked him why he was looking at him. Bilal was then stabbed.
Questions are now being asked about the safety of Sierra Leoneans living in the Peckham community as local people try to come to terms with this shocking killing on their backyard.
The Sierra Leonean community is one of the largest ethnic groups in Peckham, with over 80% of young people out of work, not attending further education or job skill training. Crime – especially theft and drug -related is rife.
But is the killing of Bilal in Peckham on Friday an isolated murder case?
Early this month, another young Sierra Leonean man – Ahmed Jah was stabbed to death in Canning Town, East London. He was the cousin of Bilal.
Described as a ‘funny and charming’ young man – Ahmed Jah was stabbed to death while buying a can of fruit juice from a local shop.
Ahmed’s family who are still waiting for answers to questions as to who murdered him, are today grieving the senseless death of another young man of the family.
Ahmed Jah who was 21 years old, was the eldest of four siblings, and is believed to have died minutes after being knifed inside the off-licence on a shopping precinct less than 50 yards from his family home in Canning Town, East London.
Ahmed had told his parents he was going to the shop, BJ Wines in Freemasons Road, to buy a can of fruit juice at 3.30pm on the day of his murder, but never returned home alive.
According to eye witnesses, when Ahmed arrived in the shop, a gang of men pounced on him and stabbed him in the chest. Paramedics arrived on the scene and fought to save his life. But he was pronounced dead ten minutes later.
Murder detectives retrieved the victim’s mobile and are tracking Ahmed’s phone records to find out the last person he contacted.
Deen Conteh, an uncle, told the Standard: “His father asked him where he was going before he left and he just said just going to the shops to get juice. He was stabbed inside the shop – there’s no reason for him to be killed.
“It’s only a minute away. His dad heard the sirens and saw the helicopter overhead and knew something was wrong. But he didn’t know it was his son until the detectives turned up at his door.
“His little brother can’t believe what has happened. He keeps on trying to ring Ahmed’s phone praying he will pick up. He was a very energetic guy who cared deeply for his family.
“His mother was at work and is devastated. The horrible way he died is not fair for such a young man. We are desperate to know the reason why he is gone.”
A cousin, who didn’t want to be named, added: “Ahmed was so funny, playful and charming, he was always joking around.
“He was a tall, handsome guy, no-one would have any reason to hurt him. We never worried about him. His little brother and sisters absolutely idolised him.”
Three men, believed to be in their 20s have been arrested on suspicion of murder. They are currently in custody at an east London police station.
Witnesses of both murders are requested to contact the HMCC on their incident room number 020 8345 1570. If you wish to be anonymous, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.