The dad of a 14-year-old boy who was stabbed to death “for his electric scooter” is fighting for life with Covid-19, a family friend has said.
Fares Maatou was fatally knifed in broad daylight outside a pizza restaurant in Canning Town, east London, in his school uniform Friday afternoon.
He is the eleventh and youngest teenager to be stabbed to death in the capital this year.
The family friend said they did not know if the boy’s dad is aware that his son has been murdered as he is “critically ill” with Covid-19.
The man is being treated in the intensive care unit of a London hospital after being diagnosed with the virus.
The friend, who asked not to be named, said: “This is a terrible tragedy. The family have been through so much.
“We didn’t know if his dad was going to pull through after falling terribly ill with Covid. He’s still critically ill and under intensive care, and now they have lost their youngest son.
“The family live in the Custom House area of east London. Fares has an older brother and two sisters.
“Fares was blind in one eye following an incident when he was a young child.”
Several teenage boys turned up to lay flowers at the murder scene outside Zetta’s pizza shop on Barking Road Saturday morning with tears in their eyes.
A witness, who tried to help Fares as he lay dying, said: “He was stabbed and then ran around the corner.
“One of the guys had a knife and the other had a big iron bar.
“The boys, there were about five of them, who attacked him were dressed in normal clothes.
“We tried to help him, I checked his pulse, but he was gone.”
Police say there have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.
A Met Police spokesman said in a statement on Friday night: “A murder investigation has been launched following a fatal stabbing in Newham.
“Officers attended with medics from the London Ambulance Service and the London Air Ambulance. They found a 14-year-old male who had been stabbed.
“Despite the best efforts of the emergency services, he was pronounced dead shortly after 16:30hrs.
“A crime scene is in place and the public can expect to see an increased police presence in the area. Enquiries are ongoing and there have been no arrests.