A manhunt is underway to find those responsible for stabbing 18-year-old Hussain Chaudhry to death at his family home in northeast London.
The law student died “cradled in his mother’s arms” after defending his family from attack, according to his sister.
“My beautiful baby brother left this world the same way he came in, cradled in my mother’s arms,” Afia Ahmed Chaudhry wrote on Twitter.
“He died defending his family. His eyes were bright, his face showed no pain, he was at peace. To God we belong & to Him we return. You’re home now baby, I’ll see you soon.”
Police and paramedics were called to reports of a stabbing on Lea Bridge Road, in Walthamstow, at about 5.20pm on Wednesday.
Mr Chaudhry, a first-year student at SOAS, University of London, died from a knife wound to his neck.
Two other family members – his brother and mother – were found with slash injuries to their hands. They were taken to hospital but have since been discharged.
Flowers have been left outside the family home where he died, where Mr Chaudhry’s family are being supported by specialist officers.
A post-mortem examination will be held in due course, police said.
Mr Chaudhry has since been remembered as a “lion” by friends and a “martyr” by family, with his sister sharing an additional post on Twitter.
“The entire community has come together for you. We’ve lost our baby and no pain will compare,” she wrote. “Fly with green birds, my martyr. Meet me by at the gates of Jannah, will you? I’ll wait for your familiar face.”
“Hussain was an incredibly kind and beautiful soul who always looked out for others. He was someone who always had a smile on his face, and was a blessing to the community,” a tribute on a fund-raising website said.
“He will be greatly missed. The community has reached out wanting to do something in his honour. For this reason, this is the official fundraising page set up by the family of Hussain for Sadaqah projects in his honour.”
Sadaqah is the term used to describe an act of kindness undertaken without the expectation of anything in return.
SOAS said in a statement it was “shocked and deeply saddened” to learn of Mr Chaudhry’s death.
In a message to students, Scott Newton, head of the university’s law school, and Mr Chaudhry’s academic advisor, Dr Samia Bano, said: “We will remember Hussain as a very kind and thoughtful student who was excited to be studying law and brought this enthusiasm to his classes and his interactions.
“Hussain had high ambitions and equally high aptitude and promise. All of us mourn his death and our love, prayers and condolences go out to his brothers Hasan and Aysh, also a SOAS law graduate, and his sister Afia, a SOAS history graduate, and to his parents, extended family, and friends.”
Detective chief inspector Perry Benton, of the Metropolitan Police’s specialist crime command, has asked anyone driving in the area at the time to check dash-cam footage, and for local residents to check doorbell cameras.
“A young man has lost his life in tragic circumstances and my thoughts are with his family and friends at this awful time,” he said.
“The attack happened on a busy road during rush hour and I know there would have been lots of vehicles passing at the time of the incident.”
Meanwhile, detective superintendent Paul Whiteman, of the Waltham Forest police team, said extra patrols would take place in response to the killing.
“We remain committed to tackling violent crime and we are working with a number of partners to help us prevent another tragic loss of life,” he said.
“You will see extra officers in the area this week and they will be using a range of tactics to target those who choose to put others in danger by carrying a knife.”