A serial slasher is on the loose in north London with the murder of a delivery driver dad and stabbing of two others in the same area being linked by police.
Investigators are confident the horrific multiple attacks – committed over two days – were committed by a white male, aged around 30 and wearing a dark jacket both times.
Leon Street, 48, was knifed to death near his own home in Neasden last Monday (January 11) at around 9.30am, just minutes after another man, aged 47, was attacked at a neighbouring bus stop.
He was taken to hospital for treatment and has since been discharged, police said.
A third stabbing was then carried out nearly a week later around 9.50am yesterday in the same area, with the victim, in his 30s, taken to hospital by paramedics.
His condition is not life-threatening.
The third attack has not officially been linked to the previous stabbings but detectives are keeping an “open mind” as all three incidents took place close by.
Mr Street died at the scene in Neasden Lane North, near the junction with Hazelwood Court, after receiving multiple stab wounds.
The dad and step-grandfather, whose photo has since been released, lived with his fiancé close to where he was murdered.
Minutes earlier another man was stabbed close to the junction with Press Road.
Met Police detectives said none of the victims appear to have been robbed and the attacker is understood to have not said anything significant to them.
Specialist Crime Detective Chief Inspector Tom Williams said: “This is an investigation into three stabbings, one of which was fatal. I am working with a dedicated team of detectives to get answers for Leon’s grieving family and for the two other victims.
“At this stage, I believe that all three attacks were committed by the same, lone male suspect.
“He is a white man, aged very roughly around 30 years, and I think he was wearing a dark coloured jacket both on January 11 and January 17.”
Officers are appealing for help from the public and believe clues to the attacker could lie within the community in the area.
DCI Williams thanked those who had already provided useful support into the probe.
“However, there are others who may have information that could help us,” he continued.
“There were people around Neasden Lane North on the evening of Monday, January 11 and on Sunday morning who will have seen or heard something of note. I need those people to come forward.”
In particular, the detective wants to hear from people who saw a man “running or otherwise acting suspiciously” in the area between 9 and 10am last Monday and around 9.50am yesterday.
“I also want to hear from anyone who has seen a man hanging around the area in recent weeks,” he continued.
“It is my belief that the suspect lives locally, and I am asking local people to get in touch if they know anyone whose behaviour is suspicious – for instance do you know anyone who has been disposing of clothes or simply seeming agitated for no apparent reason?
“Officers are making extensive CCTV enquiries, and I am confident that together with information from local people, we are piecing together what happened.
“If you have information that may assist, please do not delay in making contact with us. Even exceptionally small details could prove extremely significant.”
Police revealed a 47-year-old man and a 33-year-old man were both arrested on January 11 but have both been released without further action.
The 47-year-old arrested was the first victim of the stabbing.
Resident Fiona Gregory said she heard sirens blaring to the scene of the third attack yesterday morning, looking out the window to see “police just absolutely everywhere”.
The witness, aged 48, told the newspaper forensic officers were then carrying out finger tip searches “in all the gardens on the street, they were looking in bins” later that evening.
A cordon was placed on Neasden Lane North, and stretched across large swathes of Press Road and Aboyne Road.
Fiona continued: “They weren’t allowing anyone down the road at all. People were stood for hours with their shopping.”
She said she no longer feels safe, adding: “This used to be a really rough area and it’s calmed down. Then suddenly you have three incidents in the space of a week.”