Ashraf Habimana: Family's tribute to Luton stab victim who 'dreamed of making a difference'

Ashraf Habimana, 16, died in hospital after suffering multiple stab wounds during an attack in Nunnery Lane. Credit: Bedfordshire Police

The family of a teenager stabbed to death have paid tribute to their "remarkable young man", as police ruled out a link with other outbreaks of violence in the town.

Sixteen-year-old Ashraf Habimana died in hospital after suffering multiple stab wounds during an attack in Nunnery Lane in Luton on Friday.

Detectives have now re-arrested two teenage boys from Luton on suspicion of Ashraf's murder. They had been among five people originally arrested on suspicion of murder who were released on bail.

But police say they are now no longer linking Ashraf's stabbing to the stabbing of two other teenagers in Sundon Park Road area of Luton at around 4pm the same day, though they are "keeping an open mind".

One teenager received life-threatening injuries, and a second received serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Tributes left at the scene in Luton. Credit: ITV News Anglia

In a tribute released through police, Ashraf’s family paid tribute to him, saying he "dreamed of making a meaningful difference in the world".

"Ashraf was [...] characterised by his kindness, compassion and unwavering sense of responsibility," they said. "He always had a smile on his face and a willingness to help those in need.  

"Ashraf's positive outlook on life was infectious and he had a unique ability to bring joy to everyone around him. He was deeply devoted to his family, valuing the love, bond and support that we shared, elevated by the immense love and care he gave to his older severely autistic brother.  

“Ashraf had a passion for education and strived to excel, always eager to learn and explore new horizons. He dreamed of making a meaningful difference in the world and was working diligently towards achieving his goals. He so desired to become a cyber security analyst."

Meanwhile detectives have arrested a man in his 20s and a teenage girl on suspicion of attempted murder over the Sundon Park Road stabbing, with a teenage boy was also arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and violent disorder.

All three have since been bailed. Police are looking to trace a fourth person in connection with the incident and are renewing an appeal for witnesses.

The scene of the fatal stabbing on Nunnery Lane Credit: Bedfordshire Police

Bedfordshire Police and Luton Borough Council are due to hold a community meeting on Thursday at Marsh Farm Futures in Luton for people to ask questions and suggest ideas to tackle knife crime.

Ch Supt Jaki Whittred said: “Our hearts go out to Ashraf’s family at this incredibly difficult time.  

"We are absolutely determined to bring those responsible for this shocking attack to justice, and we are continuing a thorough investigation into the appalling violence that took place across Luton on Friday.

"We also know that there is significant interest and desire out in the community to help us tackle knife crime, which us and our partners remain committed to working together to resolve for the long term. 

“This is why we have arranged an in-person meeting for people to have their say, as working collectively is the only way we can tackle this and keep young people in our county safe.” 

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