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World News

Prayers said for family of 14-year-old boy killed in Hainault attack

by Donna Birrell

Prayers are being said for the family of a 14 year old boy who was killed in a stabbing in north east London this morning. Four other people were injured in the incident involving a man with a sword.

Police tasered and arrested a 36-year-old man after the incident and said they don’t believe the incident was terror-related. Video footage showed a man dressed in yellow wielding what appeared to be a sword.

Speaking at the scene, Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Stuart Bell said:

"It is with great sadness that I confirm one of those injured, a 14-year-old boy, has died. He was taken to hospital after being stabbed and sadly died shortly afterwards.

"The child's family are being supported firstly by my local officers and now with some specialist officers and everyone across the Met is keeping them in our thoughts at this unimaginably difficult time."

He added that two members of the public and two police officers were in hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The two police officers had stab wounds requiring surgery:

"We do not believe there is any ongoing threat to the wider community, we are not looking for more suspects and this incident does not appear to be terror-related," he said.

The local community is in shock and a resident in Hainault told reporters she had seen a body on the ground as she hid by her window while a man wielding a sword shouted "do you believe in God?" She said she was “very scared” and tried to hide away from the window.

Footage online shows police pursuing a man as he tried to escape over rooftops of nearby houses. The police shouted warnings to resident to “lock your doors!”

Rev Keith John from Hainault Baptist Church was walking to the church to open up when it became evident there had been a major incident on the main road and he was unable to reach the church.

He was updated by the police and he told Premier:

“I'm not used to such incidents of awful violence. It’s a very sad and tragic day, particularly, of course, for those who have been personally affected by this morning's events, those who have been injured and sadly, of course, particularly tragic for the young lad who has died. And for his family, it really is very heart-breaking indeed.”

Rev John said it is a very good area with a fairly close community:

“There’s a sense of sadness and anxiety. I've been out in the streets nearby, over the last few hours just chatting to people. People are anxious, young people are anxious, and old people too, because they're not used to events like this happening so close to their homes. And so people need to be encouraged. And they need to know that despite the awfulness of this morning's events, that we must pull together as a community and build up and foster good community links, so that these kinds of things don't happen again.”

“The role of the church and my role as a pastor and the role of all Christians is in times of tragedy like this, to hold out a hand of friendship and of comfort to those who feel unbearable pain, and to assure them, of the love of Christ for all people, and to encourage them to hold on to their faiths, and to do all they can to be part of a community that brings people together, so that we may learn how to live in peace, as Christ Himself said to love our neighbours and to love each other, as much as we love ourselves.”

“We must pray first of all, for those families who have specifically been affected by this morning's dreadful events, we must remember the young lad who sadly has lost his life at the tragically young age of 13 years, for his family, and for the others who have been injured. We must pray for all of them. We must pray for the police officers who have been on scene all through the day so far, and for all the other first responders, we must give thanks to God for them and express our gratitude for all that they have done and to pray for them as well. And then for the whole community, that we may come together and not be divided and separated by the kinds of events that we've witnessed today.”

Another local church told Premier Christian News it is open on Tuesday evening from 6.30pm for prayers.

The Vicar of St Paul’s Hainault, Rev Sarah Clarke-Moisley said in a statement: “The thoughts and prayers of everyone at St Paul's Hainault are with the victims of this morning's attack and their families. We are particularly praying for the family of the 14-year-old boy who tragically lost his life. This morning, I visited the area where the attack took place to offer support to people from the local community, who are devastated by what has happened. We will be opening the church on Tuesday evening for anyone who wants to join us, to say a prayer.” 

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