The family of 14-year-old Jermaine Cools, who died on Thursday night after being stabbed in a fight near West Croydon Station, has spoken out for the first time since the incident to say that they forgive their son’s killers.
Jermaine was the 27th teenager to be murdered on the streets of London in 2021, and the third teen murder victim in Croydon alone this year.
There have been no arrests as yet resulting from the police’s murder investigation.
Julius Cools and his wife, Lorraine Dudek, visited the scene on London Road yesterday to lay flowers on the spot where the fatal incident occurred. Sarah Jones, the MP for Croydon Central, also attended the scene.
“I don’t know what happened,” Lorraine Dudek told the BBC. “I still can’t understand.
“We have to change this, something has to change.
“I know whoever did this obviously didn’t know Jermaine because Jermaine didn’t have any enemies or problems with anybody.
“We need to do whatever as a community we can do to stop this. I don’t want anyone to go through this feeling now, because Jermaine was my life. My home is empty without him.
“Jermaine had a whole family that loved him and I don’t want anyone else to lose their childhood or feel what I feel or go through the pain that I’m going through, that our family are going through. I want this violence to stop. These kids to stop fighting, to stop fighting each other.
“They’re all young men they have to love each other and respect each other.
“Jermaine was always happy, always laughing, always smiling, so maybe they didn’t know what they were doing. In a moment of haste, maybe, they didn’t think but they should come forward and think.
“He was loving, caring. He put everyone before himself and was always with his family. Any member of his family, he was always with them.”
The Cools family run a small business on Portland Road in South Norwood.
Yesterday, with a tear in his eye, Julius Cools said: “The people that did this, I forgive them. I’m not the one to give judgement. I’ll leave them in God’s hands. He can deal with them the way he wants to deal with them.
“You’ve taken our angel away.
“All I can say to you is just be honest with yourself and just go to the police. Maybe it was a mistake and them tell you’re sorry.”
And Jermaine’s aunt, Beah Wilson, said, “We’ve forgiven the people who did it. We don’t hate anybody, we are Christians.
“What they did maybe they didn’t think twice, they didn’t think about it. They took Jermaine away. We can’t bring him back but we forgive them. We are a very forgiving family.”
Any witnesses, or anyone with any information, is asked to call the police on 101, quoting reference CAD 6179/18Nov, tweet @MetCC or call Crimestoppers, 100 per cent anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
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