Speculation that a 17-year-old killed in Islington was targeted for his bike is a “red herring”, police have said.
Nedim Bilgin, 17, was knifed to death in Caledonian Road, Islington, north London, shortly before 7pm on Tuesday night.
Nedim, who has not been formally identified, was the eighth person to die as a result of violence in the capital so far this year.
Three teenagers – aged 16, 17 and 18 – have been arrested on suspicion of murder. Two were detained at the scene, while the third was arrested a short time later.
The victim’s father Nusret said his family had been told by witnesses that the attackers may have been after his son’s bike.
He told the Evening Standard: “We don’t know whether they were stealing his bike or what. That’s what someone said.
“We were told a car pulled up and they stabbed him. We have no idea why. He was just minding his own business. He was a good boy.”
But investigators have said they do not believe robbery was the motive for the killing.
Speaking to the Press Association, Chief Superintendent Nick Davies said: “[Robbery] would appear at this stage to be a bit of a red herring – we’re very much keeping an open mind as to what the motive was, but robbery of the bike does not appear to be it.”
He said a number of weapons had been recovered and were undergoing forensic testing to determine if they were the items involved in the attack.
Nedim was listed as a missing person in December, and appeal was put out for information on his whereabouts.
When asked if it could be connected to his death, Mr Davies said: “I doubt it’s connected to this incident but it’s because he’s on our [missing persons] indices and because we’ve had dealings with him we would naturally look into the circumstances as to why he went missing and what was behind that.
“I’m not drawing any conclusions from that.”
Mr Davies said it was too early to comment on whether the incident may have been gang related.
“Clearly gangs operate in the area and that’s a line of inquiry that we will follow – it’s too early to say, there’s a number of inquiries that need to be made, but of course gangs is one of them,” he said.
He added: “We are always looking for more [suspects] because there are other people who are involved in this but we are satisfied that the three we have in custody were indeed involved and indeed at this stage everything would point to that.”
Mr Davies said that the post-mortem examination was due to take place on Friday, but confirmed the victim suffered “more than one” knife wound.
He said the area where Nedim was killed has extensive CCTV coverage and that officers have begun the task of combing through it for evidence.
Police received multiple calls in relation to the incident, indicating there would have been a large number of witnesses to the attack.
“There would have been a lot of people on the pavement who saw what happened, what I would say is I urge you to contact the police, or if you don’t want to contact the police you can call Crimestoppers or if you are a young person you can use Fearless.org and pass information to us that way,” Mr Davies said.
He also appealed to drivers who may have dashcam footage from the Caledonian Road area around the time of the killing, specifically close to the junction with Tilloch Street.