LONDON (AP) — A 15-year-old girl was stabbed to death while on her way to school just south of London on Wednesday morning, and a 17-year-old male suspect was arrested in connection with her death, police said.
The Metropolitan Police said that officers were at the scene at around 8:30 a.m., around two minutes after receiving reports that the girl was stabbed in Croydon, a busy residential and business district just south of London.
Chief Superintendent Andy Brittain said that police vehicles, paramedics and an air ambulance were dispatched, but the girl was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.
Around 75 minutes after the stabbing, Brittain said that a 17-year-old male suspect, who may have known the victim, was arrested not far from the scene of the crime.
Brittain said the suspect, who wasn’t identified, was in custody awaiting questioning and added that police weren’t searching for anyone else in connection with the killing.
“This is every parent’s worst nightmare, and I know the officers who responded this morning, along with our emergency service colleagues, are devastated at the victim’s death,” he said near the scene of the stabbing.
“This is an emotion I share and I know people across Croydon will be feeling the same,” he said.
A white forensic tent has been erected within a police cordon at the scene.
Stabbings involving young people aren’t uncommon in London, but it is relatively rare for such incidents to involve girls.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that he was “heartbroken” by the death and expressed sympathy with the girl’s family and local community.
The girl, who hasn’t been named, was a student at the Old Palace of John Whitgift School, a private girls’ school in Croydon.
The school expressed its shock at the “senseless and tragic death of our much-loved and valued friend and pupil.”