By Calvin Palmer
A 13-year-old was arrested yesterday evening in connection with the murder of Jahmal Mason-Blair, Scotland Yard said.
Police officers on routine patrol in Hackney, east London, found Jahmal, 17, with a stab wound in his neck shortly before 1:00 a.m. yesterday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
One woman who lives nearby said she heard a fight start in the street some time after midnight and saw 20 boys “split off into different directions”.
Friends of the teenager said he dreamed of being a professional footballer and was rarely seen without a ball.
Connie Drew said: “You never saw him without a football and he wanted to become a professional footballer. That’s the worst thing, he had a goal in his life and he was pursuing it and he wanted to make something of himself.
“He was a lovely young boy and never even got into any arguments.”
Jahmal had been tutored at a Tottenham Hotspur development centre for young players and had also recently undergone a trial at Reading Football Club.
The teenager’s half-brother Shaun Mason, 30, said Jahmal’s father, Wesley Blair, collapsed when he heard of his son’s death and was taken to hospital.
Mason said their mother Tetela Rafeal lived in Florida and was making plans to fly back to the UK after her daughter broke the news.
Following the attack, hundreds of people joined a Facebook group set up in memory of Jamahl who became the ninth teenager to die in violent circumstances in London this year.