A man was stabbed to death with two others left fighting for life after ten stabbings in just over two hours in Croydon.
Police said they had no information that the attacks were linked despite the five incidents occuring within just over a square mile of each other in south London between 6.56pm and 9.12pm on Friday.
A 22-year-old was stabbed to death in an altercation at a block of flats.
Police were called to reports of two males with stab injuries at 8.08pm to Wisbeach Road, Croydon.
One male was taken to hospital before they arrived in a non-life threatening condition but another man was pronounced dead by paramedics.
Police have not named the 22-year-old victim but said his next of kin have been informed and a post mortem examination will be scheduled in due course.
Detective Chief Inspector Martin Thorpe from Specialist Crime said: “We know that a group of males attended the address and an altercation occurred which resulted in the victim receiving a fatal stab injury.
“I would ask any local residents who saw or heard anything shortly after 8pm on Friday evening to contact police; no matter how insignificant you think your information might be, it could help us piece together what happened.
“I am aware that this was one of a number of violent incidents in and around the south London area on Friday evening but there is nothing to connect these incidents together at this time.
“A young man has lost his life in a senseless act of violence, leaving his family devastated. If you can help us find who is responsible for this attack, then I would urge you to get in touch immediately.”
One resident, who has lived at the block of flats near the scene of the fatal stabbing for more than 20 years, said she saw police and medical staff trying to save a heavily bleeding young man.
She said the man’s mother later showed up “crying and in pieces”.
The witness, who declined to be named, told reporters the man was bleeding from a deep cut to his leg and there was “blood everywhere”.
She said: “I heard someone shouting but it’s normal because people drink outside, I came down and saw two police and two ambulance guys on the ground with him.”
She said she saw medical staff make an incision in his torso, adding: “They tried really hard to save him but there was a lot of blood.
“There was blood everywhere, it looked like he was cut in the leg and they tried to stop the bleeding.
“My husband was outside for 45 minutes and said his stepdad showed up and said he was 21.
“His mum was here crying and she was in pieces.
“It is terrifying, my son is 19 and I’m worried for him.”
Earlier police responded to a stabbing at Chapman Road, Croydon at 6.56pm. Police found a man, whose condition was assessed as not life-threatening later in hospital.
Minutes later police were called to a south London hospital at 7.15pm after four males, all aged in their 20s, came in suffering from various stab and slash injuries none of which are life-threatening.