The teenage boy who is accused of stabbing a 15-year-old girl as she travelled to school on a bus was known to local community groups, a charity chief has said.
Police arrested a 17-year-old boy, believed to be known to the girl, arrested on suspicion of murder an hour following the fatal Wednesday morning stabbing.
The Metropolitan Police has since confirmed that officers are now questioning the teenager but has not formally identified anyone involved in the incident.
Anthony King, the chairman of the My Ends youth violence charity, said the arrested boy was known to local community groups.
Speaking following the incident yesterday, Mr King said he was known to the groups for the past couple of years.
In a statement to MyLondon after the initial arrest, he said he spoke to a friend of the victim who witnessed her “being stabbed numerous times”.
Mr King added that they were being supported by police and that the incident has rippled across the community.
He said: “The family are absolutely devastated. We know a young man was arrested within 75 minutes.
“The community are absolutely devastated and we are trying to do all we can to reassure people that it is safe to travel through the streets of Croydon.”
The Met Police said the 17-year-old was arrested in New Addington, a town to the southeast of central Croydon.
The service added that it is not currently able to release details of the victim’s identity.
But she has been named locally as Eliyanna Andam and pictured for the first time since the incident.
In a statement, the Met said they believe the suspect and victim knew one another.
A spokesman said: “We remain in the early stages of our investigation, however, based on what we know so far, we are not looking for anybody else at this time.
“From our initial enquiries, we believe the suspect knew the victim. We are not in a position to release the victim’s identity at this time.”
Eyewitnesses have said Miss Andam was stepping in to help her friend during an argument with her ex-boyfriend and was stabbed after tensions flared.