The godmother of a 14-year-old boy stabbed to death in London has paid tribute to her ‘ray of sunshine’ – as police label the killing ‘appalling’.
Jayden Moodie was stabbed at least seven times in the back in ‘a targeted attack’ after being deliberately knocked off his moped in London’s fourth murder of 2019.
Police are investigating whether the killing in Waltham Forest, North East London, during rush hour yesterday was motivated by a row between rival gangs.
Jayden, who lived with his mother, is thought to have moved to the capital only six months ago from Arnold in Nottingham – and friends said he was a ‘humble’ boy.
This afternoon his godmother paid tribute to the youngster by describing him as ‘full of life, fun loving and a ray of sunshine’.
Jayden Moodie, 14, (pictured left and right) who lived with his mother, is thought to have moved to the capital only six months ago from Arnold in Nottingham – and friends said he was a ‘humble’ boy
Jayden Moodie, 14, was stabbed to death last night in Waltham Forest, North East London
Jayden’s uncle Josh Grant posted on Facebook that he would never forget the 14-year-old boy
Speaking at her home in Nottingham, Zoe Grant said: ‘He was a beautiful boy, so intelligent and had everything to live for.
‘He went to London and then this happens, it’s just so unfair. He was very dearly loved by everybody.’
Ms Grant said Jayden’s mother had called her to tell her the news of the teenager’s death, adding: ‘I’m so numb from everything that has happened and I’m shocked by it all.
The teenager was murdered last night in an area notorious for drug dealing and blighted by so-called county lines gangs that are known to exploit children.
Separately, a man in his 20s was stabbed in the face three streets away at 1.30pm this afternoon and taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
That incident happened seven minutes after police were called to reports of a man being chased by a group of youths in the area – but found no trace of any victim.
Last night, officers were called shortly before 6.30pm following reports of a road crash between a moped rider and a car and found Jayden stabbed in the road.
Blood stains on the pavement in Waltham Forest today following the stabbing last night
Detectives believe three men got out of the car and knifed Jayden before returning to the vehicle and speeding off. He was pronounced dead shortly after 7pm.
The murder is London’s fourth of the year so far after less than ten days of 2019 – and follows 12 months of bloodshed in the capital which saw 134 homicides committed.
Jayden is the youngest person to be murdered in the capital since Corey Junior Davis, also 14, was fatally shot in Forest Gate, East London, in September 2017.
Speaking today Chief Superintendent Richard Tucker from the Metropolitan Police said he could not sleep for thinking about what had happened to such a young boy.
He said of the boy’s age: ‘I think that will strike a chord with so many people and so many parents across the UK.’
A police officer at the scene next to the cordon today in Waltham Forest, North East London
Flowers left at the scene in Waltham Forest today after the 14-year-old boy died last night
Mr Tucker said it was too early to ascertain a motive or say whether an incident a few streets away from the crime scene on Wednesday when a man was slashed across the face was linked.
He said: ‘It’s still too early to say what the motives are, I wouldn’t urge people to speculate either.’
Stab victim’s ‘acting grandfather’ pays tribute to ‘loving’ child
A family friend, who gave his name as Solomon, said Jayden was a ‘wonderful’ and ‘loving’ child.
The man, who described himself as the victim’s ‘acting grandfather’, said: ‘We just need to know exactly what’s going on, what mortuary he’s in, can we see him, what’s going on, that’s what we need to know.’
Solomon, who said he was a youth worker, said the system was ‘really letting down the youth’.
He said: ‘They don’t come on the streets because they want to – they don’t have a choice.’
He added: ‘They need to be given a chance to breathe like everyone else in the world.’
Solomon said: ‘All of the family is grieving, but no-one has come forward to say A or Z, to say, you know, ‘this is where his body is, you can come and get him, you can come and see him’, nothing at all. I’ve been there all night waiting.’
He added: ‘Why is it like this?’
While Detective Inspector Chris Soole, who is leading the homicide and major crime team in their investigation, said: ‘Any murder is appalling but the death of a 14-year-old boy is particularly shocking.
‘Everything we know so far points to the fact that this appears to be a targeted attack and those who carried it out had only one objective which was to inflict fatal injuries on Jayden.
‘We continue to investigate why Jayden was singled out and retain an open mind at this time.
Jayden’s uncle Josh Grant posted on Facebook last night: ‘RIP to my little nephew… Can’t believe I’m never gonna see you again. Uncle Josh will never forget you.’
He added: ‘I told him before they moved to London from Arnold six months ago he had to behave down there. He didn’t listen. He looked up to me so much. I tried to show the right way. I feel so s*** and upset right now.’
And his friend Jason Smith told the Evening Standard: ‘He was usually on a pedal bike, not a scooter. We’re all shocked and devastated. He didn’t trouble anyone.
‘He was humble and calm. He just wanted to make his parents proud. He was very close to his family and just wanted to be happy with his life.’
Scotland Yard said the murder was ‘a targeted attack’. Chief Superintendent Richard Tucker also said today: ‘Everyone is shocked and appalled by this murder.
‘The age of the victim, a boy aged 14, beggars belief and I completely understand the alarm and concern it has raised from those who live and work in the area.’
He added that a Section 60 order has been activated, allowing police to stop and search anyone without suspicion.
A man in his 20s was stabbed in the face this afternoon just streets away from where Jayden was stabbed. He was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries (pictured are police at the scene)
A police cordon was set up on the Lea Bridge Road / Bromley Road area after a man received injuries to his face
Police said it was too early to ascertain a motive or say whether an incident a few streets away from the crime scene on Wednesday when a man was slashed across the face (pictured) was linked
Speaking about the second incident today, a bus driver said at the scene: ‘I saw four men beating someone with a beard outside Barclays bank.
‘They had baseball bats, they were beating him all over his body – it was four on one.
‘He ran and they followed, when I got down here I could see him floored holding his face. There was blood gushing out – it was barbaric the whole thing.’
Meanwhile Mr Tucker said his priority was to reassure the community and that extra officers were patrolling the area.
London has already had FOUR murders in 2019
- Charlotte Huggins, 32: January 1, 4.20am, Camberwell, SE5
- Tudor Simionov, 33: January 1, 5.36am, Mayfair, W1
- Sarah Ashraf, 35: January 6, 6.20pm, Isle of Dogs, E14
- Jayden Moody, 14: January 7, 6.30pm, Waltham Forest, E10
Lee Pomeroy, 51, was stabbed to death at Horlsey station in Surrey on a train heading to London on January 4 at 1pm
The Chief Superintendent went on: ‘The overriding factor is he’s 14 years old. A lot of people are saying ‘young man’ – he’s not. He’s a boy. He’s 14.
‘It’s shocking, it’s an appalling event and this will have affected huge numbers of our young people and we’ve got additional officers in the area, and at schools, to actually reassure people that they are safe in east London.’
When asked if police had lost control of the violence in London, he said: ‘No – I am confident we have enough officers today to deal with what’s going on.
‘We shouldn’t have to live like this. I could stand here and talk about all the amazing work we have done in this area. Violence has been reduced dramatically.’
His comments respond to concerns raised my Jayden’s godmother, Ms Grant, who also said earlier today: ‘There needs to be more policing on the streets and more things for the youngsters to be doing.
‘The violence is out of hand, it’s not right.
‘I think that there should be more things in the community for them to be doing.’
A large police cordon sealing off the murder scene remained in place today as local residents voiced their anger over ‘constant violence’.
One witness said: ‘The boy was knocked straight off his moped. He fell down and tried to escape – it was like a movie. Three men followed him and he was stabbed.’
The scene in Waltham Forest where a 14-year-old boy died after being stabbed last night
He added: ‘I am certain this is a dispute about drugs. Teenagers are constantly fighting on this road and around the park – it is a postcode war.’
A warehouseman at SS Builders Merchants said a group of teenagers were spotted near the murder scene an hour earlier.
He said: ‘There’s a gang of teenagers that hang around at the youth centre. I could see a young black boy sitting on a moped when I finished work just after 5pm.’
Sam, a local father-of-two, said he was ‘sick to death’ of the ‘near-enough constant’ stabbings. The 48-year-old said: ‘This was actually a nice area growing up.
‘I enjoyed my teenage years. Now if you talk to anyone here they’ve got their own story about either someone they know, or someone they’ve seen get stabbed.
‘A woman was slashed on Church Road last week – it’s terrible. My youngest is 15; what is he supposed to make of a boy his age being slaughtered two roads from our house?’
Speaking at the crime scene, an unnamed friend said Jayden was a ‘popular guy’ who was ‘always smiling’.
He said: ‘Jayden was always smiling, he always had friends around him – he was very popular. We weren’t massively close because he was some years younger than me, so I don’t know his surname – but we would talk.
A woman looks at floral tributes near the scene in Waltham Forest after the ‘targeted attack’
Detectives are investigating in Waltham Forest today after the 14-year-old boy was stabbed
‘I used to see him hanging around outside the chicken shop. The last time I saw him last week he was doing really well, he seemed happy.’
Anthony Anderson, a mechanic who works in an alley next to the road where the stabbing took place, said he would often give the victim ‘fatherly advice’.
He said he thought the victim, who he described as a ‘very nice guy’, was older than 14 because he had a mature attitude.
Mr Anderson said it ‘hit him hard’ when he found out the victim was someone he knew on Tuesday evening.
He last saw the teenager, who would sometimes come to get his bike fixed, walking down the alley last week.
Speaking outside the garage where he works, he said: ‘He’s somebody I really spoke to a lot, tried to get him off the street, tried to just get him to go to school … it really, really hit me when I heard last night.’
The victim was somebody you could have a ‘nice conversation’ with, Mr Anderson said.
A police officer stands next to flowers which were left at the scene in Waltham Forest today
He continued: ‘As an older person I just tried to give him fatherly advice, not only him but all the young guys – when I saw them I always tried to give them some fatherly advice at times.’
He added: ‘He would listen to you, you could sit and talk to him and he would listen.’
Mr Anderson, a father-of-two, added: ‘I only hope and pray that this will all make a difference, with all this happening, just because if they don’t do something quick and fast it’s gonna be more serious.
‘A lot of those young kids get caught up in some situation … and it’s not going to be better if they don’t have more police support in the area and more parental guidance. It’s going to be worse.’
Police are looking for a black Mercedes B Class with ‘extensive frontal damage’ which hit the boy’s moped before three men got out and stabbed him.
Detective Chief Inspector Larry Smith added: ‘Everything that we have learned about this attack so far indicates it was targeted and intent on lethal force from the outset.
‘We are doing everything we can to catch those who carried out this cowardly attack and bring them to justice.’
An officer looks at paperwork by the police cordon in Waltham Forest this morning
The Waltham Forest murder has shocked the local community. Paramedics made a desperate attempt to save the teenager but he died soon after they arrived.
A man who lives near the scene suggested a BMW was involved, saying: ‘I heard a massive noise and went outside. The boy was under the wheels of a blue BMW.
‘Three men got out and stabbed him six times. He was already unconscious and couldn’t move. They gathered around him.
‘There were three; they were dressed in casual clothes and did not cover their faces. It was too dark to see who they were.
‘They each had a long kitchen knife. They butchered him in silence. He was stabbed six times. I ran outside to save him, but it was too late. He was so young.
‘His helmet had been knocked 10ft. He was trapped under the wheel of the car. It was horrific.’
A local business owner said Jayden was a regular in his shop. He said: ‘I kept telling him not to ride that moped – I tried to keep him away from it. He was always respectful.’
A forensic officer investigates next to a moped at the crime scene in Waltham Forest last night
Last night the street remained cordoned off and a forensic tent had been erected in the middle
A father-of-three, who was in the Raw Fitness gym nearby at the time, told the Standard: ‘A guy in here earlier saw everything. What happened was there was a guy on a moped with no plates.
‘A car came behind him, deliberately whacked into him, he then fell on the floor. Three men then jumped out of the car, stabbed him from behind and drove off.’
Locals said there were moped gangs of young people in the area, with drug dealing also taking place.
Ali Yamah, a tyre fitter who has worked locally for 17 years, said the area could be intimidating at night.
The 48-year-old said: ‘Walthamstow – it’s very famous now. In my experience here there is drug dealing, this is the main source. In the evening, now it’s winter time, they put on masks.
‘Sometimes we are afraid, people are afraid of this kind of behaviour.’
Officers were called to Waltham Forest in North East London shortly before 6.30pm yesterday
Police believed the boy had been involved in a crash with a car before he was stabbed to death
One local resident, who did not want to be named, told BBC News that crime was getting worse in the area and she was hoping to move away.
She said: ‘I think it’s ridiculous. Every year, every month, something’s happening – all these killings. I have kids and I don’t see them growing up here.’
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘Despite efforts of paramedics, he was declared dead at 7.09pm. Next of kin have been informed.
‘A crime scene is in place. The homicide and major crime team has been informed. There have been no arrests. Enquiries continue.’
One man, who did not want to be named, described how a witness came into the premises where he works nearby, clearly horrified by what they had seen.
Three males allegedly got out of a car and stabbed the victim before returning to their vehicle
The scene in the Waltham Forest area of North East London last night after the boy died
He told how the witness informed him how the teenager who was on the moped was struck by the car which was travelling in the opposite direction.
He said: ‘They said they knocked him off the moped and got out of the car and they stabbed him seven times – there were unsurvivable wounds in his back.’
The man added that the witness recalled how the boy was possibly unconscious when he was stabbed, with his helmet thrown up to 30ft away.
The man added: ‘He thought it was an accident, that somebody had knocked someone, but then he said they quickly came [out of the car]. They beat him up, and they stabbed him, and they left.’
Police arrived at the scene last night to discover a 14-year-old boy had received stab wounds
A worker at the nearby Raw Gym told Mailonline that he had seen a mobile phone video of the victim lying in the road.
‘It looked like he has been stabbed two or three times in the back’, he said. ‘This guy who comes into the gym sometimes had got it on his phone.
‘I saw on the phone that the police were trying to help the kid and he had been stabbed in the back. The wounds were very big.’
He said he understood the victim had been knocked from his moped by a car and then attacked.
Paramedics made a desperate attempt to save the teenager but he died soon after they arrived
Police are at the sceneconducting forensic tests and a cordon is expected to remain in place
Another local said there had been trouble between local gangs, mainly the ‘Beaumont Crew’ and their ‘OC’ (Oliver Close) rivals.
‘They fight regularly. There’s loads of knives being carried around. It ain’t safe to be walking around here at night either.’
Residents who live on Bickley Road said they did not hear any shouting or screaming.
They said it was not until they saw the blue flashing lights from the emergency services that they knew something had happened.
Charlotte Huggins (above) was the first stab victim of 2019 after being stabbed in Camberwell
Late last night the street remained cordoned off at both ends and a forensic tent had been erected in the middle.
Forensic officers in blue suits could be seen assessing and combing the area for evidence.
Police are in the early stages of the investigation with forensic teams at the scene, but are likely to consider whether gang rivalry might have played a part in the murder.
Stella Creasy, who has been MP for the London constituency of Walthamstow since the 2010 general election, tweeted her condolences this evening.
Tudor Simionov, pictured with his girlfriend Madalina Anghel, was stabbed to death outside a VIP ‘sex party’ in Park Lane, Mayfair, on New Year’s Day
She said: ‘Walthamstow devastated to report a young boy – just 14 – has lost his life in our community tonight. This terrible event on Bickley Road has only just been confirmed.
‘At moment that is all the info I have – anyone with evidence or info on tonight’s incident please do call 101.’
Then later yesterday evening, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, tweeted to say: ‘I’m greatly saddened by news of the fatal stabbing of a 14 year old in Waltham Forest, and my thoughts are with his family and friends.
‘I encourage anyone with information about this horrific incident to contact the Police on 101 or phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.’
Lee Pomeroy was with his son (pictured together) on a train to London when he was knifed
The London Borough of Waltham Forest has been blighted by gang crime, with the local authority ploughing £3million over the next four years into a prevention programme.
It commissioned a report, published in the summer of 2018, which found that so-called county lines drug gangs were operating in the area, fighting more over money than geographical territory.
These gangs are known for forcing children and vulnerable people to get involved in crime.
The shock incident comes just days after an 18-year-old man was found with stab wounds at Blackhorse Road station in Walthamstow.
He was rushed to hospital following the incident on Sunday where his condition was said to be ‘serious’. The Waltham Forest murder is the fourth in London in 2019.
On Saturday, Sarah Ashraf, 35, was found dead in a flat on the Isle of Dogs, East London, and her 32-year-old brother Khalid has been charged with her murder.
Charlotte Huggins, 33, became the first murder victim in London this year and died from a single stab wound in a house in Camberwell at 4.50am on New Year’s Day.
Half an hour later bouncer Tudor Simionov, 33, was stabbed to death outside a VIP ‘sex party’ in Park Lane, Mayfair.
This map of the capital shows where the 134 murders across London happened over last year
The homicides recorded in London boroughs over the past 12 months show high murder levels in Greenwich and Southwark – along with Haringey (Press Association calculation as of Dec 15)
Separately, Darren Pencille, 35, is accused of killing 51-year-old Lee Pomeroy in front of his 14-year-old son on a London-bound train as it passed through Surrey on Friday.
Scotland Yard released figures in December showing the number of people killed in the capital hit a ten-year high in 2018, with more than a fifth of victims being children and teenagers.
Last year, 134 killings were recorded by the Metropolitan Police, which included 24 in which the victims were 19 or under.
Of those, 18 were stabbed, five were shot and one woman died from head injuries. It was the highest total since 2008, when 155 were killed.