Confusion as father explodes, stabs his daughter aged 1 and his son 3 to death
Shopworker Nithin Kumar, 40, is said to have “exploded” during lockdown and killed his baby daughter, aged one, and three-year-old son at the family’s flat above a shop.
Police said they are not looking for anyone else over the stabbings.
Kumar, who lived with his wife Nissa and their two children, was described as a “very shy” man who finished his shift at a nearby shop just 90 minutes before the tragedy.
Neighbour Reshna Begum, a mum-of-two who lives across the road, said she heard “tortured” screams around 5.30pm on Sunday, adding: “I heard a woman screaming ‘Help me’.
“I knew something horrible must have happened, it went on for about 10 minutes.”
Neighbours told how cops brought out the baby girl in a tiny body bag from the flat while paramedics tried to revive her brother on the street with CPR.
The boy was taken to hospital by air ambulance but later pronounced dead.
Stunned witnesses told how the children’s traumatised mother was led away screaming by police. She was last night under sedation.
Ms Begum added: “My heart just sank, it’s devastating, horrific. From a mother’s perspective I’m still shaken from it…I can’t imagine what she feels at the moment.”
Sri Lankan Kumar, dad to the two children, remains in hospital with stab wounds.
Another local woman, Intisar Ahmed, added: “I heard a horrible screaming and went outside to see what was happening.
“I saw emergency services take the little boy outside and lay him on the footpath and give him CPR. My friend said he was covered in blood.”
A shopkeeper said: “The woman who lives there came running out screaming, ‘Help me, help me, it’s my children’ over and over. She was crying and she was desperate.”
Kumar and his wife originally came from Sri Lanka and moved into the flat just over a year ago, said neighbours.
He was employed at a convenience store near his home and spent the day working there before leaving at around 4.30pm to return to his family.
His employer, Shanmugatha Thevadurai, 54, said “Everything was normal. Nithi was a wonderful man and a loyal worker.
“He opened the shop at 9am, worked a normal day and made me tea shortly before he left.
“He had been telling me how his wife was not happy that he was still going out to work in the lockdown.
“There were four of them in a tiny, cramped flat and I think things just got too much for him.
“It seems as if he just exploded. I’m in total shock. But when I last saw him, he was in a good mood and there was nothing wrong.”
Another local, retired builder Thomas Dodds, 78, told of his horror as police launched a murder inquiry.
Mr Dodds, who lives in the flats behind the shops, said: “I could tell something awful had happened from the high-pitched screaming.
“There was lots of screaming and panicking and then it just stopped.
“I was at home last night and I didn’t realise what happened until three police cars turned up. Next thing, three big ambulances and three more small ones arrived.”
Tributes including bunny toys were outside the home on Monday morning.
Poignantly, teddy bears were still on display in the window of the family’s home and a pushchair propped against the outside wall.
Police said they were treating the deaths of the children as murder and said a 40-year-old man known to them was in hospital with stab wounds.
The Met said: “We are not looking for anybody else in connection with this incident.”