A 15 year old boy who recently converted to Islam was one of two victims who were stabbed to death in Hackney, north London, at the end of June.
Leonardo Reid took his shahada at Finsbury Park Mosque but was killed on June 29 in a double murder.
An investigation was launched after police were called at 11.33pm to reports of a stabbing. Officers responded with paramedics from the London Ambulance Service.
Leonardo Reid from Islington was found with stab wounds. Despite the efforts of medical staff he was sadly pronounced dead at the scene, just after midnight.
It was established that another victim, a 23-year-old man, Klevi Shekaj, had also suffered stab injuries. He had been taken to a west London hospital where he too was pronounced dead.
Special post-mortem examinations for both victims have given a provisional cause of death as a stab wound to the chest.
A third victim, believed aged 28, was also located at an address in N19. He had suffered a stab wound. He was taken to a north London hospital where he remains. His condition is not thought to be life threatening.
Detectives investigating the double murder have charged two men.
Abel Chunda, 27, of Highgate Hill, was charged with two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon.
And Jason Furtardo, 26, from Islington, was charged with two counts of murder. He was also charged with attempted murder and possessing an offensive weapon and appeared in custody at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
After Leonardo’s tragic passing friends issued the following statement on behalf of the family:
“On Thursday 29th June 2023, their lives were changed forever. Leo, was just yards away from his family home, having been outside to chat with a group of friends. The group were ambushed by strangers and set upon. Leonardo – the youngest of the group – was brutally stabbed, and having received two fatal blows, never stood a chance.
“Leo is remembered by those who loved him as a bright, loving Son, Brother & Friend. He loved football, music & his family.
“You may have been made aware of Leo’s passing through the widespread news coverage the story received, for the family this news is very real. For his Mother Valentina acceptance is incomprehensible. No mother should have to lose a child to needless violence.
“And so, as Valentina fights for justice for her son, we ask for your kindness and support. We are raising funds to assist with Funeral costs, as well as any other expenses to ease her mind of the financial burden.
“His mother has given years of her life supporting & mentoring children & families facing such difficulties. As a teacher in the local comprehensive, she is well respected for her tireless work within the community. This will be a long road, one of which we hope to never understand. Leo was just 4 months shy of his 16th Birthday, a cause for celebration for his family and his many achievements. His Family wish to honour him on this day and beyond. Your kindness is greatly appreciated.”
And Chief Superintendent Andy Carter said: “My thoughts are with the families of the two victims who have suffered such an unimaginable loss in this shocking and unacceptable incident.
“We will support our colleagues as they investigate and members of the public will see an increased policing presence in the area.
“I urge anyone who has information that can help us establish exactly what has happened to approach those officers or contact us immediately. A man and boy have lost their lives and we must now work together to identify those responsible and remove them from our streets.”
Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances of Deshaun’s murder and urge anyone with information that could assist the investigation to contact police on 020 8345 3865, call 101 or Tweet @MetCC quoting 7948/04AUG.