Warning: upsetting photographs and details
A 15-year-old schoolboy has been charged by detectives probing a mass fight in which four teenagers were stabbed.
The youth, one of six teenagers arrested in connection with the shocking violence, has also been charged with a drugs offence.
Police say the most seriously injured of the victims of the bloodbath, all believed to be 15 or 16, has now been taken off the “critical” list.
But he remains in a “serious but stable” condition in hospital, along with one of the other victims who is said to be “stable”. The other two victims have been discharged after treatment.
All four were stabbed in broad daylight during a mass brawl involving several youths on the Elmington Estate in Camberwell, south east London, on Thursday afternoon.
Detective Inspector Luke Williams, of Southwark Police, said: “A youth has been charged in connection with an incident in which four males sustained stab wounds following an altercation in Camberwell.
“The 15-year-old was charged with possession of a bladed article and possession of cannabis and has been bailed to appear at Camberwell Youth Court on September 5th.
“The remaining five who were arrested, all aged between 15 and 16, were bailed to return to a south London police station in mid-September.
DI Williams, who said the investigation was ongoing, added: “This incident saw another act of serious violence on our streets and is unacceptable.
“I appeal to anybody who saw what happened or has any information about the events which took place in Camberwell on Thursday to contact us; we need the support of the local community in order to bring those responsible to justice.
“There is a Section 60 and a number of dispersal zone in place across Southwark and some parts of Lambeth.
“We have additional officers on patrol from the Violent Crime Taskforce and the Territorial Support Group in order to reassure that we continue to treat this incident with the utmost seriousness.”
A teenager who rushed to help a victim of a quadruple stabbing shouted “I’ll f*cking kill him” before police wrestled him into a van, a witness said.
Shocked neighbours said two of the teenage victims had “their stomachs cut open”, leaving the ground covered in blood after the scrap involving up to 30 youths in Camberwell, south London.
Shocking photos taken by locals show one victim, a teenager, surrounded by a huge crowd of police as he was treated by paramedics.
At least one of the youths, said to have been knifed in the arm, had his wound wrapped with a t-shirt while paramedics rushed to the scene.
Susan Model, 20, who watched the incident unfold from a ground floor flat, said: “Police were trying to calm it down and move people away from the ones on the floor but it didn’t go well.
“All of a sudden a load of police came from nowhere running and got everybody away.
“There was a black guy with no top and he said something like ‘I’m going to fucking kill him’ and about five officers chased after him as he ran off.
“In the end they took him away because he was raging.
“When I first came out he was on the floor with one of the people who had been stabbed.”
She added: “Two or three police vans turned up before the ambulance did.
“We saw four people, three of them lying on the ground and one of them being walked off.
“He had a bandage wrapped around his arm. It was white and covered the whole of the top of his right arm.
“I heard two got their stomach cut open – there was two stomach, one leg and one arm – because you could hear the conversations that were going on.
“It was manic, it was completely manic, there were a lot of black boys shouting, screaming, you had neighbours worried because we didn’t know if we knew them.
“We don’t know who’s who anymore. You don’t know who to trust.
“Apparently they weren’t from the estate.
“When they got picked up and taken away the floor was covered in blood.
“The police said the stomach wound looked life-threatening.”
The violence erupted between a gang of around 30 teenagers.
The victims are not thought to live on the estate but neighbours said a garden area concealed from view by the flats has become a hotbed for youths.
A man, who did not give his name, said: “The lads hang around there all the time, it started at least six months ago.
“Recently there have been more and more.
“They are downstairs at the end of the block doing what boys normally do, shoving each other and messing about, but I don’t recognise any of them.”
Another resident added: “There’s drugs, prostitution, it’s not a good place to bring up your kids.”
The scene had been cleaned of blood this morning but a police cordon remained around the grassed area where the stabbings happened.
Janet Hardman, 58, said: “There were lots and lots of sirens then when I looked out there were masses of police cars all out the front and it stopped the main road.
“When I got to the back I saw it was all cordoned off by the police.
“There was an air ambulance crew too.”
She described at least 30 people swarming the area where the boys were stabbed.
She added: “Out the front there were at least 20 police cars, the police were stopping, getting out of their cars and running. They had dogs as well.”
Forensics teams were also last night combing a flat where a man became the victim of London’s third fatal stabbing in just 48 hours, just a mile away from the horrific knife fight in Camberwell.
Detectives searched the property in Leysdown House, near Old Kent Road in south east London, after the victim, in his 50s, was found with multiple stab wounds.
Neighbours said the victim lived in the building with his elderly sister, named locally as Pat, who was with friends in a nearby flat at the time.
A woman, said to be the victim’s daughter, arrived at the scene at around 4pm before she was taken into the back of an ambulance which was parked outside the block.
A local man described how the victim’s daughter pulled up in a car before running up to the ambulance.
He said: “She got out of the car and started crying and running towards them. She’s in the back of the ambulance.”
Two marked police cars and a forensics van remain on scene as officers quiz neighbours about what happened in the flat.
By Ben Gelblum and Stephen Beech