Sword attack victim, 14, had ‘positive nature and gentle character’

Staff and pupils at the school attended by a 14-year-old boy killed in a sword attack said they have been left in “profound shock and sorrow” at his death.

Daniel Anjorin died as he walked to school in Hainault, east London, on Tuesday morning when an armed man went on a violent rampage.

A statement from Bancroft’s, an independent school in east London, said: “We are devastated by the heartbreaking news of the death of Daniel Anjorin, who attended our school. This has left us in profound shock and sorrow.

“Daniel joined Bancroft’s at seven years old and quickly became a core member of our community.

“He was a true scholar, demonstrating commendable dedication to his academic pursuits.

“His positive nature and gentle character will leave a lasting impact on us.

“Losing such a young pupil is something we will always struggle to come to terms with.

“We are now doing all we can to support our entire community through this most painful situation.

“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Daniel’s family during this incredibly difficult time.”

The school was also hit by tragedy last summer after former pupil Grace O’Malley-Kumar was stabbed to death in Nottingham as she tried to save her friend Barnaby Webber from a knife attacker.

Speaking after dropping off supplies to Daniel’s family on Wednesday, family friend Janti Charalambous said her son attended Snaresbrook Prep School with him, and remembered him playing in the street as a child.

A flag is flown at half-mast at Bancroft’s, independent school
A flag is flown at half-mast at Bancroft’s independent school in east London (Ian West/PA)

She told the PA news agency: “Daniel was an amazing young man.

“He was good at his studies. He was good at his sports. Very much loved by many, many people and came from a wonderful family.

“The family are in shock. Obviously they are very heartbroken. He was such a young boy taken away from his family.”

She went on: “I was talking to my son and he was so heartbroken, he can remember Daniel driving his little car and playing in the street.

“He said he can’t imagine it happening to his own brother.

“We’ve known the family for many years now and we are praying for them.

Valdo Calocane court case
Grace O’Malley-Kumar was stabbed to death in Nottingham last year (Family handout/Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

“We are praying for them and supporting them in any shape or form.”

Another friend, Ade Caxton-Cole, who accompanied Janti, added: “They have hope and we have hope that we will all be seeing him one day so long as we have hope in Christ.

“Faith is keeping them, Christ is keeping them, the Lord is keeping them. It’s important for all of us and for them.”

Daniel died in a sword attack near his home that also left two members of the public and two police officers hurt.

The horror unfolded when a man crashed a van into a fence in Laing Close just before 7am on Tuesday, and then attacked two members of the public with a sword.

He then killed Daniel, before seriously injuring two police officers as they tried to stop him, one of whom nearly lost her hand.

A 36-year-old suspect, who was initially taken to hospital after he was injured crashing the van, is now in police custody and can be questioned over the bloodshed.

A friend of Daniel’s told the Evening Standard that he was a keen footballer and Arsenal fan.

Cyan Thompson, 19, told the newspaper: “I can’t believe he has gone. He was such a good person with great manners. He was so caring. He loved football and was like a mini Messi when he was younger. He also loved Arsenal.

“He was so bright with a great future ahead, very good at solving maths problems. We are heartbroken.”

Daniel’s mother works at Holy Family Catholic School in Walthamstow, east London.

The school published a statement on its website that said: “Mrs Anjorin’s son was taken from this life suddenly this morning on his way to school. Please keep Mrs Anjorin, her husband, and their other children in your prayers.”

Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, Miss O’Malley-Kumar’s father, Dr Sanjoy Kumar, said the boy’s loved ones will be distraught.

He said: “It’s absolutely appalling. You can’t even imagine what the parents are going through. This is just the most difficult thing for any parents to endure.”

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Giving more detail of how the attack happened, Scotland Yard said initial attempts to use incapacitant spray and Taser on the suspect were not effective.

It was not until he was cornered by officers in a driveway and a stun gun fired again that he could be subdued.

Detective Chief Inspector Larry Smith said: “I know that many people will want answers and we are working to provide them as soon as we can.

“I would also echo previous calls for patience as my officers carry out a painstaking investigation to deliver justice for Daniel, his family, those injured and the wider community.

“We are starting to build a picture of what happened on Tuesday and I want to thank everyone who has come forward to share dashcam, doorbell and mobile phone footage with us.

“Likewise, thank you to witnesses, who were no doubt terrified by what they saw, and who have made vital contributions to our investigation.

“Anyone who has not yet spoken to police and has any information should contact us as soon as possible.”