HORRIFIED onlookers yesterday told how a knife-wielding schoolboy chased his ex off a bus before fatally stabbing a pal who tried to protect her.
Witnesses said the lad tried to give his former girlfriend flowers and a love note on the No60 double-decker.
A girl of 15 was stabbed to death with a zombie knife after a row broke out on the No60 bus in CroydonCredit: Twitter
A pupil is seen carrying flowers to lay for the victim, named locally as EliyannaCredit: Jeremy Selwyn
A forensic investigator seen carrying a flower away from the crime 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 the victim when she leapt to her pal’s defence.
A mum-of-two bus passenger named Bridget said: “Everybody was panicked. Two bus drivers and a lady were trying to help the girl.
“She had been stabbed in the neck and chest.
“It seems like there was a bunch of friends then this happened.”
Security worker Victor Asare described the horrific scene, adding: “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 “black, thin and about a foot long”.
The girl was named locally as Eliyanna.
Her family rushed to the scene in Croydon, South London, 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.
He was in custody last night. Cops were seen putting his flower and love note into evidence containers.
A bloodied bouquet was seen on the floor outside the Whitgift shopping centre.
James Watkins, of youth group Mainz World, comforted the victim’s family who had been alerted by phone
He said: “They unfortunately weren’t able to arrive in time before she died. They were devastated and in shock. I don’t think it feels real for them.”
The girl was in her GCSE year at Old Palace of John Whitgift, a £19,000-a-year private school.
Witnesses say the lad tried to give his former girlfriend flowers and a love note on the busCredit: Getty
A bloodied bouquet seen on the floor outside the Whitgift shopping centreCredit: Peter Jordan
Police held a boy, 17, on suspicion of murder 75 minutes laterCredit: LNP
The school said: “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.
“Above all, we send our love and deepest sympathies to the girl’s family at this unimaginably distressing time.”
Anthony King, chair of Croydon’s My Ends community project, said: “The family are devastated.
“I can’t articulate the sound and tears and genuine heartbreak that took place this morning.
“The girl was scheduled to pass her GCSEs. She had a bright future. An incredible young lady, very articulate.
“One of the young people defined her as jovial and very comedic.”
He added of the incident: “They were heading to school. All were scheduled to be there by 8.45am.
“Their school is not even five or ten minutes away from here and sadly the young lady didn’t make it.”
Police erected a forensics tent at the scene and CCTV was collected from the bus.
Locals left cards to “Eliyanna and family”.
One read: “Sorry we live in this crazy world this makes no sense.
“Fly high up there my mummy will look after you. RIP beautiful forever young. Taken too soon.
“Thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends god bless.”
Another said: “Rest in peace little princess. So sad your life is taken away at your prime. You have touched my soul.”
Met Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley visited the scene to be briefed by officers.
Chief Supt Andy Brittain, in charge of local policing, said: “This is every parent’s worst nightmare.
“I know the officers who responded, and our emergency service colleagues, are devastated at the victim’s death.”
He added: “This is an emotion I share and I know people across Croydon will be feeling the same.
“The victim’s family has been informed and our thoughts are with them at what must be an incredibly difficult time.
“I can confirm that an arrest was made at about 9.45am in the Croydon area.
“At this early stage we believe he may have known her.
“A crime scene will be in place for some time, and I am grateful for the co-operation of residents.”
Richard Taylor, whose son Damilola, ten, was stabbed to death in Peckham, South London in 2000, said: “Society has broken down.
“What is a boy doing carrying a knife like that at 8.30am?
“There is something very wrong with a society when a girl of 15 is stabbed to death on her way to school.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Sarah Jones, Labour MP for Croydon Central, said they were heartbroken that a child had been killed on her way to school.
The girl was the 16th teenager to be murdered in London this year — two more than in 2022.
It is proportionally down on the record number of teens who died violently in the capital in 2021.
Cases of police using stop- and-search powers in Croydon have fallen by 28 per cent — 10,237 to 7,336 — in the year to the end of August.
The drop comes after a 14-year-old boy was handcuffed in the borough on his way home from school last year in a case of mistaken identity.
Former Met Chief Supt Simon Ovens said: “Police have got to get to grips with young people carrying knives.
“There has been a huge drop in stop and search in the last ten years.
“Police are scared of stopping young people in the street because of the risk of complaints.
“Youngsters are therefore prepared to carry knives because they know the chance of being found with a weapon is so low.
“As well as carrying knives they are prepared to use them and never think about the consequences for their victim or themselves.”
Additional reporting: Julia Atherley
Police forensics officers on No60 bus yesterday after the horror stabbingCredit: PA
The former boyfriend’s love note to the young girl seen inside a police evidence bagCredit: Getty
Police erected a forensics tent at the scene and CCTV was collected from the busCredit: PA