A teenager has become the third person charged with murdering two young men in a spree of violence in northwest London.
The 17-year-old will appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court accused of killing Abdikarim Hassan, 17, and Sadiq Aadam Mohamed, 20, in Camden on 20 February.
The teenager has also been charged with violent disorder following an incident in Pembury Circus, Hackney, east London, on the same day.
Abdikarim died of a stab wound to his chest near his home on the Peckwater estate in Camden at around 8.30pm.
Relatives described the Westminster College student as a “good guy” who was “always smiling” and liked playing football.
“He was helping his mum, whenever he was off from college, he was taking his siblings to school,” his uncle Yusuf Ahmed said.
His aunt Fatima Deria said his mother had fled war-torn Somalia with her family to the UK to find safety.
“But he’s not safe is he?” she said. “He’s dead.”
Around two hours after Abdikarim’s death, Mr Aadam was stabbed in Malden Road and was pronounced dead at the scene.
He was the third young man in his family to be killed in a knife attack. His brother, Mohamed Aadam, was killed in the middle of the day in Camden Town in September, weeks before his 21st birthday. Their cousin, Mohamed Abdullahi, also known as “Lefty”, was murdered in 2013 aged 20.
Police believe Mr Aadam was with a friend when they were chased down an alleyway by four males. He was stabbed and the group fled, they understand.
Mr Aadam’s mother, Fowsiya Abdi, said she received a message from her son saying: “I’m wounded.”
“Please, I beg you, people who got a knife, children – stop please,” she said.
The family said violence had become a “constant theme” in the local community.
A statement from Mr Aadam’s relatives said: “We are made to believe that the police are here to protect us, but how does a mother feel her kids are protected when she has lost two in the same vicinity within months?”
She said she fears for her other children and for both her sons, it was a case of “wrong place, wrong time”.
In the immediate aftermath of the killings, police put a section 60 order in place in the area, which allowed them to expand stop and searches. Eight arrests were made and a number of knives and baseball bats seized.
In the year to September, England and Wales saw a 21 per cent rise in recorded crimes involving a knife, including a 13 per cent rise in homicides, compared to the previous year.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan held urgent meetings with politicians, police, youth services and other officials in the wake of the murders.
“I’m desperately saddened to hear of the death of two young Londoners,” he said. “Two more lives needlessly lost to knife crime.”
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick described her anger at the “senseless waste of life”.
“The frequency with which some of our young people are prepared to take each other’s lives is shocking,” she said. “For two young men to be murdered so close together – both in time and geography – makes this even harder to comprehend.
“There will be young people out today who are carrying knives – stop and think. Do you really want your life to end? Or end someone else’s and waste your own life in prison?”
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Detectives previously charged 18-year-olds Ben Drummond and Isaiah Popoola over the murders.
Mr Drummond, of Kentish Town, north London, was also charged with grievous bodily harm and attempted grievous bodily harm on two victims aged 17 and 24 in Aldenham Street, Camden, the same evening.
Mr Popoola, of Grafton Way, Fitzrovia, was also charged with grievous bodily harm and attempted grievous bodily harm in connection with the same incident.
Both will next appear at the Old Bailey.
Press Association contributed to this report