A YOUNG father died after being stabbed in broad daylight during a fight on a Croydon estate.
Adrian Young, 24, was attacked by three men in Cromwell Road shortly before 4.30pm on Tuesday.
The men chased him into nearby Whitehorse Road where he collapsed on the pavement.
Paramedics fought to save his life by the roadside before rushing him to hospital, where he was pronounced dead later that evening.
Mr Young's friends gathered at his girlfriend Lisa Stanley's home in Cromwell Road, yards from where he was stabbed, on Wednesday night.
A murder investigation is underway but police have yet to make any arrests.
Takeaway worker Zia Haqiqi works at London Pizza which is directly opposite the junction of Cromwell Road and Whitehorse Road.
He saw a topless Mr Young being chased by three men, around the same age as him, into Whitehorse Road.
Mr Haqiqi, 20, told the Advertiser: "I could see a group of men in the middle of Cromwell Road.
"At first I thought they were friends and they were messing around.
"Then one of them started running towards the end of the street. The others were definitely chasing him.
"He turned the corner and I realised it wasn't a joke. He took a few steps and collapsed on the floor.
"As soon as he fell down, the other men ran back along Cromwell Road. I think they ran because the police were coming, they [the police] were here that quickly."
Mr Haqqi, who himself was slashed with a knife during a terrifying attack in the takeaway around a month ago, said there was initially no obvious sign Mr Young had been stabbed.
"I couldn't see any blood but when the paramedics started working on him it was clear he was in a bad way. It looked like they had to do surgery by the side of the road," he said.
"It's very sad, shocking. I knew of the man. He used to come by every so often. He just seemed like a normal person. He was never any trouble."
Another witness, who did not wish to be named, saw Mr Young stagger along the street clutching his chest before he collapsed.
Earlier that afternoon he was seen eating at Dooglebud's West Indian Bistro and Lounge Bar, in Whitehorse Road, with Miss Stanley and their child.
"They were sat behind me in the window of the café," a customer said.
"They had some food and then they left. They seemed happy enough."
The events leading to Mr Young's death remain unclear. Several residents described an argument in a children's playground involving a group of young men.
Police cordoned off an alleyway between two blocks of flats in Berney Road – behind the playground. A man living in the flats was told by a police officer that a length of wood, potentially used during the fight, had been found.
Officers returned to the scene on Wednesday night and conducted a second search of the area.
Flowers have been left outside Miss Stanley's home and her family have asked for privacy.
Pastor Ted Brown, of AFB Church in nearby Johnson Road, said the church would be there for anyone who needed support.
He said: "It's quite a peaceful community and what has happened has come as quite a shock. We will be praying for the family and will be there for anyone who needs us."
Police were called to Cromwell Road at around 4.30pm to reports that a group of men, one armed with a knife, were attacking someone.
The Air Ambulance was sent to the scene and Mr Young was found suffering from stab wounds. He was taken to a south London hospital but was pronounced dead at 6.42pm.
The Met's homicide and major crime command are leading the investigation and have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
Detective Inspector John McQuade said: "We believe the stabbing took place during an altercation that been going on in the area since earlier that afternoon, although we retain an open mind regarding the cause of the dispute.
"I would urge anyone who can help us to piece together events to come forward and contact police as soon as possible."
The police incident room can be reached on 020 8721 4205. To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.