Police in search for gang after schoolboy murdered

Detectives are seeking nine gang members in connection with the murder of a schoolboy killed while “selflessly protecting” his younger brother.

Four suspects have been arrested over the death of Negus McClean, who received multiple stab wounds in a residential street in north London, on Sunday evening.

Yesterday eye witnesses described how the 15-year-old collapsed in front of his 10-year-old brother after being attacked in what local residents said was a fight over a BlackBerry phone.

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The teenager was taken to the Royal London Hospital where he died from his injuries.

Yesterday family members hit out at the “disgusting act of violence” which led to his death but vowed to pray for his killers.

The 15-year-old’s cousin, Noel, called for an end to knife crime.

“I pray that a change happens,” he said. “I pray for the guy that did this to my cousin.”

Fighting back tears after laying flowers at the scene of the attack in Edmonton, north London, the 25-year-old described Negus as “intelligent, mature and selfless”.

“He was dying protecting his brother,” he said. “It was a selfless act. He paid with his life.”

He said he could not condemn the killer as “I am just another man”.

He added: “I will let God decide. He needs help, he is just a young boy himself.”

Negus “loved making music” and was destined for “something good” he said.

“His mum was very proud of him,” he added. “His mum and dad are keeping it together. His brother and sister are keeping strong and needing their faith.”

A woman, who lives near the scene but did want to be named, said the victim was cradled by a crying woman as emergency services were called.

The stabbing took place near the doorstep of Michael Athnasiou’s terraced home in Westminster Road, Edmonton.

He said there was now an atmosphere of fear in the area.

“The gangsters are getting out of control,” he said. “It is very scary.”

Relatives and a host of school friends laid flowers at the scene yesterday as teachers and friends of the teenager came forward to pay tribute.

Noel, who declined to give his surname, said Negus was preparing to celebrate his 16th birthday in two weeks’ time and was hoping to embark on a career as a rapper after leaving school.

A cousin, Naomi, said: “We just hope his death is not in vain.”

A picture of Negus was put up on an RIP page on the internet social networking site Facebook, with friends paying tribute to him, while his teachers at Edmonton County School spoke of their shock.

Headteacher Dr Susan Tranter described the schoolboy as a “polite young man”.

“On behalf of the students, parents, staff and governors of Edmonton County School, I express my sorrow and deepest sympathies to Negus’s family,” she added. “It is a tragedy that the life of a 15-year-old boy has been lost to knife crime. I urge all the young people of our school to shun the gang-related issues that will have contributed to this untimely death; there is no future for a young person as a member of a gang.

“Let us cherish the memory of Negus and make sure it never happens again.”

Negus is the fourth teenager to be stabbed to death in the capital this year.

He died of multiple stab wounds after police were alerted to the attack at 7.25pm on Sunday.

Speaking at the murder scene, Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Clay man said the schoolboy had died after being chased by “seven, eight or nine” youths riding bikes and confirmed the teenager had been stabbed in the chest and thigh.

He urged anyone with any information to come forward.