A triple murder investigation was under way today after a mass street brawl left three men dead in a horrific bloodbath.
Harinder Kumar, Narinder Singh and a third man, named by friends as Baljit Singh, were found slumped at the bottom of a pedestrian walkway in Elmstead Road near Seven Kings station, Ilford, just before 7.40pm yesterday.
The victims are believed to have been aged 22, 26 and 34. One man was stabbed in the neck, shoulder and the chest, while another had been smashed in the head with a hammer.
A victim was heard shouting, “They killed me, help me” after two groups of men clashed in the street.
Two men, aged 29 and 39, have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in custody.
One of the victims was named by his brother as 26-year-old Narinder Singh, a construction worker who lived in nearby Gants Hill.
Jasbal Singh described rushing to the scene in Salisbury Road to find his brother and the two other men collapsed on the ground.
He said: “I got a call saying my brother had been stabbed. I went there and just saw him laying there. There was blood everywhere.
“I shouted, ‘Wake up, wake up’ but it was no good. I had lost him. He was a great brother and a popular guy with no enemies. I am devastated.”
Mr Singh said another of the victims was one of his best friends, Harinder Kumar. He said: “I have lost not only my brother but a best friend I lived with. I don’t know how this could have happened. We were so close, my heart is broken.”
A friend said that the clash that led to the deaths was linked to an incident on Saturday. Guri Singh said: “Something happened, some problem the day before in Crystal Palace.”
He added: “I can honestly say the three were like brothers to me. I can’t eat or sleep. These were guys who were always there for their friends. I am devastated.”
Detectives said they were keeping an open mind about the motive for the killings.
Det Chief Supt Stephen Clayman, Commander of the Met’s East Area, said the victims were from the Sikh community and his team were still trying to inform family members.
He added: “I’ve tried to solve a double homicide before but a triple is unusual. We believe the two groups were known to each other. There is always a reason and we need to find out what that is. It was a horrific scene to come across for everybody. My deepest sympathies with the families for what they are going to be hearing in the next coming hours.”
Sabih Qureshi, 35, attempted to give first aid to one of the victims.
He said: “My cousin spotted them first. One man was dead just by a car by the footpath. There were two other men badly injured shivering on the ground. All the blood was in the street.
“One man had been stabbed in the neck, shoulder and the chest, and another had been smashed in the head with a hammer.”
Mr Qureshi added he witnessed a large street fight between two groups at the same spot on Saturday night.
Extra stop and search powers were granted across Redbridge and a huge police cordon was thrown up around the surrounding streets.
Jas Athwal, leader of Redbridge council, said: “An incident like this is unheard of within the Sikh community here in Redbridge. We’ve got to look at the causes of why this happened.”