Elianne Andam: Family pay tribute to ‘light of our lives’ after schoolgirl, 15, is knifed to death in Croydon bus attack

THE grieving family of a 15-year-old schoolgirl stabbed to death while trying to protect her pal have paid tribute to the “light of their lives”.

Old Palace student Elianne Andam was knifed to death in Croydon after a boy tried to give his former girlfriend flowers and a love note on the No60 double-decker bus.

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Old Palace student Elianne Andam was knifed to death in CroydonThe 15-year-old girl was knifed when she tried to protect her pal

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The 15-year-old girl was knifed when she tried to protect her palCredit: LNPA pupil is seen carrying flowers to lay for the victim

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A pupil is seen carrying flowers to lay for the victimCredit: Jeremy SelwynElianne's family have paid tribute

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Elianne’s family have paid tributeMarian, an aunt of the teenage victim, said she was a 'lovely girl'

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Marian, an aunt of the teenage victim, said she was a ‘lovely girl’Credit: Jeremy SelwynPolice officers, including those who rushed to try and save her have laid flowers at the scene

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Police officers, including those who rushed to try and save her have laid flowers at the sceneCredit: PA

She was returning a bag of items after they separated recently, but a row broke out and he raced after her at a bus stop.

The boy is said to have pulled out a foot-long, serrated zombie knife and stabbed Elianne when she leapt to her pal’s defence on Wellesley Road in south London yesterday.

Both the land and air ambulance rushed to the scene but she was pronounced dead at the scene 40 minutes later.

Around an hour and 15 minutes after the stabbing, police arrested a teenage boy in connection with the girl’s death.

A 12-hour extension to his custody time limit was granted this morning.

Today Elianne’s family told of their pain.

A spokesperson for Elianne’s family said: “Our hearts are broken by the senseless death of our daughter.

“Elianne was the light of our lives. She was bright and funny, with many friends who all adored her.

“She was only 15, and had her whole life ahead of her, with hopes and dreams for the future.

“All those dreams have now been shattered. Our lives have fallen apart, along with that of our wider family.

“We ask the media to please respect our privacy as we try to grieve the short life of our beautiful child.”

It comes after Marian, an aunt of the teenage victim, told the Sun outside the family home just half a mile from the crime scene: “She had a bright future ahead of her.

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“She was a lovely girl, loved doing her hair. She wanted to be a lawyer, and she was at a private school paid for by my sister.

“We are devastated by this. She was a 15-year-old, what can you say? This is a tragedy and the worst that’s happened to the family.

“It’s a big family and everyone has come together for my sister, we are supporting each other.

“We can’t comprehend the heartbreak of the last 24 hours. We hope to put out a further statement later.

“She went to school and she didn’t come home.”

Asked how Elianne’s mum was feeling, the aunt said: “Not good. It only happened yesterday.”

A family friend of Elianne said her little brother “is going to be so heartbroken”.

Croydon resident Adama Dumbuya, 30, said: “It’s just really sad. She was such a lovely little girl. I’m a parent myself.

“She was just really lovely the few times I’ve met her. She’s just a very nice girl and very polite.

“She helped a lot to look after her brother. I just can’t imagine what he is going to be like. She had a little brother.

“I know they were so close. She always looked after him. He is going to be so heartbroken.”

Anthony King, chairman of My Ends – a project helping combat youth violence in Croydon, was with the girl’s family after the incident and said they were “heartbroken”.

He added: “She had a bright future ahead of her. She was in her GCSE year.”

Mr King described the girl as an “absolutely incredible young lady” and told of how others said she was “jovial, very comedic”.

Yesterday at the scene, a bloodied bouquet was seen on the floor outside the Whitgift shopping centre.

Personal belongings on the floor near the bus in central Croydon yesterday

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Personal belongings on the floor near the bus in central Croydon yesterdayCredit: LNPPals said Elianne had a 'bright future' ahead of her

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Pals said Elianne had a ‘bright future’ ahead of herCredit: TikTokA forensic investigator seen carrying a flower away from the crime scene

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A forensic investigator seen carrying a flower away from the crime sceneCredit: PAWitnesses say the lad tried to give his former girlfriend flowers and a love note on the bus

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Witnesses say the lad tried to give his former girlfriend flowers and a love note on the busCredit: GettyA bloodied bouquet seen on the floor outside the Whitgift shopping centre

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A bloodied bouquet seen on the floor outside the Whitgift shopping centreCredit: Peter JordanMore than 40 bunches of flowers have been laid

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More than 40 bunches of flowers have been laidCredit: Jeremy Selwyn

Security worker Victor Asare described the horrific scene, saying: “A lot of people came, everyone came off the bus.

“(The suspect) ran. Everybody was crying and screaming. The girl was on the floor.

“We tried to catch him and a lot of people tried to save the girl. I was so shocked, I was shaken. It’s somebody’s daughter.

“I finished work but couldn’t sleep so came back. I wanted to see if the girl was OK.”

He said the girl, who was in a green blazer, looked as if she “didn’t want the boy to come closer” before he stabbed her with a knife, which was “black, thin and about a foot long”.

Her family rushed to the scene, but she died 50 minutes after the 8.30am stabbing.

The suspect fled to New Addington five miles away where he was arrested on a tram.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was “absolutely heartbroken” at the news of the girl’s death.

“My thoughts and prayers are with this young girl’s family and friends, and the whole community, at this unimaginably awful time,” he added.

“I promise to continue working day and night to end the scourge of knife crime in our city.”

Mayor of Croydon Jason Perry said in a statement on social media: “I am devastated to hear that the teenage girl who was stabbed in the town centre this morning has tragically died.

“The Council are in touch with the police and will fully support their investigations.

“Our whole community’s thoughts will be with the victim’s family and friends.”

Sarah Jones, MP for Croydon Central, tweeted: “I am heartbroken that a child has been killed on her way to school.

“I cannot imagine what her family and friends are going through at this horrific time.”

The school said in a statement: “We are deeply shocked by the senseless and tragic death of our much-loved and valued friend and pupil.

“It will take some time for the Old Palace community to come to terms with this terrible news, and we will offer support to our pupils as we try to do so.

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“Above all, we send our love and deepest sympathies to the girl’s family at this unimaginably distressing time.”

More than 40 bunches of flowers have been laid, and a number of cards and candles have also been placed at the scene.

One card said: “Rest in peace angel condolences to your family at this very sad time.”

Another said: “Rest in peace little princess so sad your life is taken away at your prime. You have touched my soul.”

A woman who works opposite where Elianne was stabbed to death said she was “struck down in her prime”.

Filomena Merola laid flowers by the police tape on Thursday morning.

The 57-year-old, who grew up in Croydon, said: “That young girl could not even go to school without being cut down.

“We all have young teenagers in our lives, in our families. It has just struck a chord.”

A letter addressed to the girl was also left among the tributes

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A letter addressed to the girl was also left among the tributesCredit: PABoth the land and air ambulance rushed to the scene

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Both the land and air ambulance rushed to the sceneCredit: TwitterMedics battled to save the schoolgirl but she died at the scene

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Medics battled to save the schoolgirl but she died at the sceneCredit: UKNIPFlowers at the crime scene in Croydon today

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Flowers at the crime scene in Croydon todayCredit: Jeremy Selwyn

Categories: Optical Illusion
Source: tiengtrunghaato.edu.vn

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