Teenagers witness fatal stabbing in youth club

A group of teenagers have been left “shocked and traumatised” after witnessing a man being fatally stabbed in a youth club, police have said.

The 23-year-old was attacked in a suspected murder at the Marcus Lipton youth centre in Brixton, south London, at about 6.45pm on Thursday.

He was pronounced dead at the scene in Minet Road less than an hour later despite the efforts of medics.

Detective Chief Inspector Mick Norman acknowledged that witnesses may fear repercussions as he called for them to come forward over the apparently “premeditated and targeted” assault.

“This was an appalling attack on a young man in a youth centre – a place where he was entitled to feel safe,” Mr Norman said.

“The youth centre was open at the time and sadly many young people present would have witnessed what unfolded.

“Many of them will be shocked and traumatised by what they saw and perhaps fearful of potential reprisals if they speak to police.”

The youth club was surrounded by a cordon on Friday morning as police carried out a “painstaking” investigation.

Pastor and community campaigner Lorraine Jones said she had heard a fight had broken out at the youth club and the man was stabbed.

It is believed the man was stabbed in the groin.

Pastor Jones, whose 20-year-old son Dwayne Simpson was stabbed in Brixton in 2014, added: “All I know was that there was a fight and a young man got stabbed.

“The police were called, they tried to do CPR with a defibrillator, the ambulance came and pronounced him dead.”

Pastor Jones, who lives nearby, said the youth club was one of only two in the area serving around 8,000 children.

She added: “They are under pressure right now. There should be maximum support for the workers to expand and strengthen what they are doing for young people.”

Another neighbour said that there were often young people at the club, with many using its football pitch.

Police are awaiting formal identification of the victim, but have informed his next of kin.

No arrests have been made.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.