Image caption, A forensics team wearing blue overalls arrived at the scene where the 15-year-old was stabbed to death
A 15-year-old girl has been killed in a stabbing in Croydon, south London.
A number of police vehicles and ambulances can be seen surrounding a red double decker bus in Wellesley Road, near the Whitgift Centre.
One eyewitness described seeing a bus driver and a woman trying to resuscitate the girl on the pavement.
A teenage boy was arrested shortly after the girl died at 09:21 BST, and a murder inquiry has begun. Police believe he may have known the victim.
The Metropolitan Police said it had worked with British Transport Police (BTP) to “track” the teenager.
Ch Supt Andy Brittain, of the Met, said: “Our immediate thoughts are with this young girl’s family who are facing the most tragic of news. Our officers are with the girl’s family to support them.
Image caption, A bunch of flowers can be seen lying on the ground near a white forensic tent at the scene
“I am in contact with the local community, who are clearly as concerned as we are about this tragic incident.”
The eyewitness, a woman who only wanted to be known 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.”
London Ambulance Service says it sent several ambulance crews and London’s Air Ambulance to the stabbing, which happened at about 08.30 BST.
A white forensic tent has since been erected within a police cordon outside the Whitgift Centre and a bunch of flowers can be seen placed next to the tent.
The police cordon also surrounds a red double decker number 60 bus, and about a dozen police officers and several emergency vehicles remain in the area.
Local activist Anthony King, who runs a crime reduction organisation in Croydon, told BBC Radio London he had just met with the girl’s friends and family following this morning’s attack.
“This is the fourth of fifth time that I’ve had to look a parent in the eye and tell them their child has died. It’s the worst day of my life and I can’t imagine what that feeling is like [for them].
“The noises and screams I heard this morning will sit in my spirit indefinitely. Keep the family in your prayers and thoughts.”
Image caption, Georgina Slater said the people of Croydon “need help – and no-one’s doing it”
Croydon resident Georgina Slater, who was passing-by the scene, told the BBC the killing was “absolutely disgusting, and it’s just happening far too often in this area. I don’t understand how at this time in the morning a little girl’s been stabbed”.
“I don’t know what the police are doing… they’re just getting younger,” she added.
“We need intervention, we need stuff for the kids, they’ve got no guidance. The police turn up when it’s this – where’s the interventions in the schools?”
Another passer-by, Christopher Ita, said: “This will happen again next week, and next month, it’ll just be somebody else.”
The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, has said he is “absolutely heartbroken” by the killing and appealed for witnesses, adding he was in touch Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley.
“I promise to continue working day and night to end the scourge of knife crime in our city,” he told Greatest Hits Radio.
Image caption, A cordon remains in place on the northbound side of Wellesley Road in Croydon
Croydon South MP and Minister for Policing Chris Philp said news of the girl’s death was “devastating”.
“Nothing can be worse for a parent than losing a child,” he said.
“We must redouble our efforts to take all knives off the streets of London, using every means available.”
Steve Reed, MP for Croydon North, called it “another tragic, shocking and avoidable loss of life”.
Mayor of Croydon Jason Perry also said he was “devastated to hear that the teenage girl who was stabbed in the town centre this morning has tragically died”.
“The council are in touch with the police and will fully support their investigations. Our whole community’s thoughts are with the victim’s family and friends.”
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