Police were called at 5.27pm on Saturday, 20 May to reports of an injured man in Essex Road, N1. Officers attended along with London Ambulance Service and provided first aid to a man with a stab injury.
Despite their best efforts, he was pronounced dead at the scene. He has been named as 55-year-old Tony Eastlake. His next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.
In a statement, his family said: “Our hearts are broken forever at the loss of such a very special man. A man who was loved by everybody in the Islington community, who is remembered as kind and caring and always laughing, but most importantly a father who leaves behind a devastated family, Lisa, Pauline, and his only daughter and best friend Paige, who he adored.
“Tony worked on the flower stall on Essex Road since he was 14 years old and was there through rain or shine, a smiling and friendly face to so many of us. There have already been hundreds of messages of support for him from all those who knew and loved him over the years.
“We ask you now please for your support in helping us to find the person or people who did this to our family – who took away a life so violently and unnecessarily. If you have any information at all we beg you to please come forward so we can get justice for Tony and his family.”
Officers from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command have launched a murder investigation.
Witnesses reported seeing the victim involved in an altercation with another man before the assault.
Detective Chief Inspector Vicky Tunstall, leading the investigation, said: “Tony was a well-known, loved and respected member of the community. He had worked on and owned the flower stall on Essex Road for the last 39 years and was someone of considerable standing within the local area.
“We have a dedicated team of officers working around the clock to find the person or people responsible and I would like to hear from anybody who could help out investigation. I am particularly keen to hear from people who were in Halliford Road or Ecclesbourne Road between 17:20hrs and 17:25hrs. Did you see Tony? Or did you witness an altercation, or see anyone running away?
“I would also like to appeal to people within this area, including residential blocks and houses between Ecclesbourne Road, Halliford Road and Essex Road who may have private CCTV. I would very much like to hear from delivery drivers and owners of cars with dash cams who were travelling through the area at the time of the incident. You may have captured significant footage that we need to recover as soon as possible.
“Lastly, I would like to hear from those within the community who may have information about why this murder has taken place. We are looking at several possible motives and I am keeping an open mind as to the circumstances behind the attack. information given to police will be treated in the strictest confidence.”
A post-mortem examination will be scheduled in due course. At this early stage of the investigation, there have been no arrests.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting reference CAD 5562/29May. To remain anonymous, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.