Background on the Attack
On January 31st, 2024, a man threw a corrosive substance at a woman and two young children on Lessar Avenue in Clapham, South London. The victims, a 31-year-old woman and her 3 and 4-year old daughters, suffered severe injuries and burns to their faces and bodies.
In total, nine people were injured in the attack. The victims were rushed to the hospital, where the woman and children were described as being in “very poor” condition with potentially life-changing injuries.
Key Details About the Suspect
Police have identified the suspect as Abdul Shokoor Ezedi, a 31-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan. Ezedi had previously been convicted of sexual assault in Italy in 2017 and was known to authorities as a registered sex offender.
CCTV footage and eyewitness accounts suggest that Ezedi specifically targeted the woman and her daughters in the attack. He was seen grabbing and slamming one of the girls to the ground before throwing the corrosive liquid at them.
Police describe Ezedi as approximately 6ft tall, of large build, with a distinctive injury to his face sustained during the attack. He was last seen wearing a black hooded top with white writing, black trousers and white trainers.
The Extensive Manhunt
A major police operation and public appeal was quickly launched to find and arrest Ezedi following the attack. However, he remains at large after three days despite one of the largest manhunts conducted by London’s Metropolitan Police force in recent years.
Evidence related to Ezedi was found at an address in Kings Cross on February 1st. Police later revealed that CCTV footage showed Ezedi traveling south from Kings Cross through London after the attack instead of fleeing north as initially thought.
Over 200 officers have been deployed daily to find the suspect. Searches have focused on the Clapham area but also extend across London and even outside of the city.
Police have warned the public not to approach Ezedi if spotted, as he is considered dangerous and likely “volatile”.
Impact on the Community
The shocking attack has left the local community shaken. Parents have been warned to remain vigilant and a visible policing presence remains in the area to provide reassurance.
At a public meeting, police commanders urged the community to have strength during this difficult time. Victim support is being offered to witnesses of the traumatic event.
There is also anger that an asylum seeker and known sex offender could carry out such an attack. Ezedi reportedly sought asylum in 2018 on the grounds of converting to Christianity and facing persecution – but was appealing a rejected claim at the time of the assault.
What Happens Next in the Investigation
|Next Steps in Police Investigation
|– Continuing extensive manhunt to locate and arrest suspect
|– Conducting searches and gathering CCTV footage from London transport hubs
|– Monitoring suspect’s known associates, addresses, and locations he has links to
|– Appealing to public and communities to immediately report potential Ezedi sightings
|– Investigating how corrosive substance was obtained given restrictions on dangerous liquids
|– Interviewing victim once recovery allows to identify motive and connections with suspect
|– Building legal case for charges including grievous bodily harm, assault, possession of a weapon
The police manhunt continues apace as authorities work tirelessly to ensure the suspect is swiftly brought into custody.
Yet with each day Ezedi evades capture, the more difficult the case becomes. The Met police concede he could now be anywhere in the UK, or may have even fled abroad.
Nonetheless, senior investigators express determination not to allow the suspect to escape justice after inflicting devastating injuries on his victims.
The public appeal remains strong – police urge Londoners to stay vigilant and provide any information that may lead to the arrest of this dangerous individual before he can strike again.