Witnesses have described the “horrific” aftermath of violence that saw three men stabbed to death in a residential street.
A fight between groups of Sikh men in Ilford, east London on Sunday evening escalated into a fatal clash, according to police.
Officers responded to reports of a disturbance in Elmstead Road, Seven Kings, at 7.38pm.
All three men were pronounced dead at the scene and the Metropolitan Police said the victims are believed to be aged in their 20s or 30s.
Two men, aged 29 and 39, have been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Louis O’Donoghoe, 40, heard screaming and shouting outside his house, in what he said sounded like a foreign language.
“It was just chaos, absolute chaos. It was like something out of a movie, horrific,” Mr O’Donoghoe, who is originally from Middlesbrough, said of the aftermath.
He saw the ambulance service working on one person, and then realised there were another two bodies, at which point he went outside to see what was going on.
“I could see it all, one (body) to the left, two at the bottom of the stairs. It was like a bad day in Bosnia. It was pretty horrific really. I’ve never seen anything like it to be honest. It’s like something on a movie.”
Speaking at the scene, Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman said the suspects and the victims were all known to each other.
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“We believe the groups involved are members of the Sikh community,” he said.
He added in a later statement: “A fight has taken place which has escalated, resulting in three people being fatally attacked.”
Officers are still contacting members of the deceased men’s families, he said.
“It was a horrific scene for anyone to come across and my heart goes out to the families and those affected by it, because it is unprecedented to have something like this,” he said.
While they are still investigating a motive, police have ruled out terrorism, he said.
Formal identification of the victims has yet to take place, and post-mortem examinations have also yet to be arranged.
Jas Athwal, leader of Redbridge Council, said he believed it was an isolated incident.
“An incident like this is unheard of within the Sikh community here in Redbridge,” he said.
“I think tragically there are at least three families who are going to be in mourning and this is going to last a lifetime for the people left behind.
“We’ve got to look at the causes of why this happened and address those.”
So far in 2020 there have been six homicides in the capital. Last year there were 149, a rise from 133 in 2018, despite a drop nationally.