News broke in the early hours of Saturday evening that two 16-year-old boys were fatally stabbed just a mile apart in south east London.

Kearne Solanke was found with stab wounds in Titmuss Avenue, Thamesmead, and Charlie Bartolo was discovered in Sewell Road, Abbey Wood.

Metropolitan Police said late on Sunday evening that another 16-year-old boy had been arrested on suspicion of their murders, with the two incidents being treated by police as linked.

Local residents spoke of their dismay at the murders, with Titmuss Avenue resident Gillian Southwest, 48, calling the incidents “terrible”.

She said: “I have lived here for 28 years.

“If it’s the boy I think it is he’s a really a good boy.”

A 32-year-old man, who did not wish to be named but lived on the road all his life, said he was waiting for an ambulance for his grandmother when a commotion began.

“I heard some noise at about 6 o’clock – the bins were all rattling,” he said.

News Shopper: Flowers left near the scene at Titmuss Avenue, ThamesmeadFlowers left near the scene at Titmuss Avenue, Thamesmead (Image: PA)

“There are always some kids running through making noise but something like this is out of the ordinary.

“To hear something like this in this area is shocking.”

On the arrest, Detective Chief Inspector Kate Blackburn, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “This is a positive development in what is a complex and fast-moving investigation.

“Charlie and Kearne’s families have been informed.

“Our investigation is ongoing, and we continue to appeal for the public’s help as we build a picture of what happened on Saturday night. If you have information, no matter how insignificant you think it may be, please come forward.”

The Metropolitan Police were called out at around 5.10pm on Saturday to reports that people had been injured at both locations.

Both youths were pronounced dead and murder investigations were launched.

Earlier, Detective Superintendent Richard McDonagh, speaking at the scene of one of the incidents, told reporters: “Homicide colleagues are investigating and are treating the two murders as linked.

“I can assure everybody affected by these murders that skilled detectives will work tirelessly to discover what happened and provide answers to the young victims and families.

“Officers are especially keen to hear from anyone who might have seen a dark-coloured SUV or 4X4 type with distinctive silver roof bars in the areas around Sewell Road or Titmuss Avenue in the days prior to the murders.

“We have already heard from a number of witnesses and I’m grateful to them.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101, giving the reference 4943/26NOV, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, by calling 0800 555 111.

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