Police have arrested a 36-year-old woman on suspicion of murdering a ‘well-mannered and kind’ disabled boy who was stabbed to death on Saturday and died in his mother’s arms near his London home.
Levi Ernest-Morrison, 17, was found lying in a pool of blood near his home in Sydenham and died at the scene despite efforts to save him.
His mother and stepfather, both carers, were among the first to arrive at the scene as they tried to stem his bleeding and administered CPR.
Tragically, their ‘loving son’ died in his mother’s arms, despite efforts by members of the public and emergency services to save him.
Scotland Yard said a woman was arrested on suspicion of murder, while witnesses claim they saw three boys fleeing the scene, one on a scooter and two on foot.
Mourners including relatives, children and friends visited the scene of the incident today, while the officer who battled in vain to save Levi laid flowers in his memory.
Levi’s mother fears her son was killed in a case of mistaken identity, adding that he was a ‘target’ due to his disabilities of autism and nerve damage to his foot.
‘He was waiting for his friends and he didn’t realise what his friends were doing,’ said his mother, who asked not to be named.
‘He saw his friends running down and a woman knocked him over and then her son came out and stabbed him. The 36-year-old woman who has been arrested, she is the mother of the child who stabbed him.
‘She didn’t see my son at her door. My son has nothing to do with it.’
In an emotional tribute, Levi’s heartbroken stepfather said: ‘He was a lovely, caring boy. And now we have to assist with his funeral.’
Levi Ernest-Morrison was stabbed to death while standing on a Sydenham street corner with his mother on Saturday evening. Witnesses say they saw his mother sobbing beside Levi, pictured with his younger brother, as he died
His mother added: ‘He was a beautiful boy with a beautiful heart. My son was autistic and disabled so it hurts more. He has got a foot drop and damaged the side of his leg. He was a special case and he was a very special boy.’
One woman who saw the three boys running from the scene, said: ‘He just got stabbed. They were running down the road and stabbed him.
‘By the time I arrived, the mother was there. She was wailing.
‘The husband was there to console. When the police came, they moved her away from the scene. She was very upset. When I got there, the boy was fading out.
‘The colour of his face was changing, his lip colour was fading.
‘There were a lot of people there. People were crowding and somebody was trying to stop the bleeding from his side.
‘Whether he was stabbed in his side or in his back, I don’t know. He was lying on his back and there was blood on the floor from his back.
‘We were there long before the police and paramedics, they took 15 minutes to arrive.’ She added: ‘I was coming from the supermarket, I saw the crowd and somebody said somebody had just got stabbed so I went over to look.
‘I understand there were three boys chasing him. One went off on a scooter and the other two went on foot. They are a close, loving family. I’m just in shock.’
Forensic officers attended the scene in Sydenham, south London, on Saturday evening after Levi was stabbed to death. His mother claims a 36-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of murder is the parent of the boy who stabbed him
People tried to stem Levi’s bleeding and administered CPR on the street in Sydenham, before emergency services arrived at the scene. Pictured: Police at the scene on Saturday
Levi’s mother said he attended the Kaleidescope support group in nearby Lewisham, where staff are in tears from the tragedy.
She said: ‘He was not a loudmouth boy, he wasn’t a nasty boy. He was very well mannered. My son was not in a gang and he didn’t even like drill music.
‘My son was not like that.’
She added how her son had helped to save their neighbour’s life on multiple occasions and would not hurt a fly or even a garden plant.
She said: ‘Kaleidoscope help families and they do trips to support people with additional needs. They are in tears.
‘We had an education care plan because Levi had special needs. He was very quiet, he wasn’t on social media properly.
‘He was doing construction work and he wanted to build his own house. He was very good with his hands.
‘We were looking to move to the Caribbean because our family is from St Lucia.
‘He loved St Lucia and that is where he wanted to be.
Levi’s heartbroken mother has revealed how she planned to move her family to St Lucia as her son pursued a career in construction
‘He was autistic and he had alopecia so he was conscious about his looks and he was conscious about going out.
‘He had nerve damage which affected his foot – he had a foot drop.
‘So because of that he could not run and he could not walk properly without a crutch.
‘It is very important that people know my son for who he is and not have an opinion on somebody who you don’t know.
‘If somebody fell over in the street, my kids would pick that person up.
‘My neighbour has had multiple strokes and blood clots and my sons have gone over there and helped to save her life with first aid. She is in bits.
Tributes were laid for Levi at the scene including dozens of flower bouquets, trinket dishes for an ‘amazing friend’ and two heart shaped gold balloons. Pictured: Police set up a large cordon as they investigated the stabbing on Saturday night
‘Before my son was completely disabled, he built her garden. He loved it and he loved helping people.
‘He wouldn’t hurt a fly and I couldn’t even put a tent up with him without damaging my plants.
‘He couldn’t go too far hence why he got into a situation.
‘We know that my son was disabled and he was like a target.’
Tributes were laid for Levi at the scene including dozens of flower bouquets, trinket dishes for an ‘amazing friend’ and two heart shaped gold balloons.
Levi’s mother feared he was a ‘target’ because of his disabilities. A 36-year-old woman remains in custody on suspicion of murder
A blue balloon reads ‘forever in our hearts’ while a collection of white tea lights spells out the teenager’s name as ‘Levi’.
One woman, who did not know the family but travelled from Forest Gate in east London to pay tribute, said: ‘It is just heartbreaking. People carry knives and use them as though it is a badge of honour.
‘I hope the family know we are all thinking of them and that they are in our thoughts and prayers.’
One flower tribute came with a message that read: ‘We are so sorry for the loss of a young life. Sending all kindness, strength and love to family and friends.
‘You are in our thoughts and may your boy rest in peace in a beautiful place.
‘Sydenham Hight Street, a place with a vibrant diverse community, people from all walks of life.
‘May we reunite through love and may we be kind to one another. RIP x.’