An 87-year-old grandfather stabbed to death on his mobility scooter was named as Thomas O’Halloran as police released images of an armed suspect seen fleeing the scene.
Mr O’Halloran was killed in a “shocking act” of “unprovoked violence”, Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson said at the scene in Greenford, west London.
Met officers and paramedics were called at shortly after 4pm on Tuesday to Cayton Road, Greenford, to reports of a stabbing and he was declared dead at the scene.
Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Wilson said: “I understand that our community will quite rightly be shocked and appalled by this incident, as I am too.
“We are now able to name the man who has tragically lost his life as Mr Thomas O’Halloran, who lived in Greenford and was a very well-known and much-loved member of our community.”
Below: Thomas O’Halloran recorded himself playing the accordion on YouTube
'Raising money for Ukraine'
He was attacked while on his way to busk, according to a friend, who did not want to be named.
He said: “He was coming back from Perivale to play his accordion and make some money for his family and he was stabbed to death.”
Mr O’Halloran was said to be known locally for busking outside Greenford Station and was also said to be raising money for war-torn Ukraine.
A man who works in a newsagents outside the station said: “He used to play his accordion here.
“He came every day for a long time, at least two years. He usually busked around five o’clock.”
Another shopkeeper said: “He was often outside the station playing his accordion.”
Frasley Coutinho, who lives in Greenford, west London, opposite where the attack happened, said he saw the victim surrounded by a group of young boys.
He said: “I saw a couple of people gathering around him and then he drove past and stopped further up, and then there was a group of young boys around him.”
Police believe 87-year-old Thomas O’Halloran travelled “75 yards or so on his mobility scooter” after he was stabbed.
'Clearly a dangerous individual'
The Metropolitan Police said officers are keen to identify the man as “a matter of urgency”.
He was wearing grey shorts, a dark T-shirt, a white baseball cap and white patterned builder-style gloves.
Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, leading the investigation, said: “We are keen to identify the man in the CCTV images as a matter of urgency.
“He is clearly a dangerous individual and people are advised not to approach him, but to call us immediately on 999 if they know him or have any information regarding his whereabouts.
“My team and I have been working around the clock to bring Mr O’Halloran’s killer to justice, but we need your help. If you have any information at all that will assist us with our investigation – no matter how small – please contact us or alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously.”
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