A 20-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a flower seller in north London at the weekend.
Tony Eastlake, 55, died from a knife wound close to his stall on Essex Road in Islington on Saturday. Police attended along with the London ambulance service at about 5.30pm and provided first aid but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Met police said the suspect was believed to be known to Eastlake.
DCI Vicky Tunstall, who is leading the investigation, disse: “Our dedicated team of officers have worked tirelessly since Saturday evening to identify the person suspected of the murder of Tony Eastlake. I hope this brings some reassurance to the community after what was an incredibly traumatic and unsettling incident that has cost the life of a well-loved and respected man.
“I can confirm that this attack is not believed to have occurred as a result of a robbery. We continue to appeal to anyone who might have seen anything to please come forward to police. If you live within this area or were driving through, please check your CCTV and dashcam footage for anything which might help the investigation. No piece of information is insignificant.”
Eastlake’s family said he had been working on his flower stall since he was 14, “rain or shine”, and described him as a “smiling and friendly face for so many of us”. They said they had received hundreds of messages of support. “Our hearts are broken for ever at the loss of such a very special man,” they said in a statement.
“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.”
Tributes were also paid to him on the Islington Community Group on Facebook. Andres Paniagua Toro said: “The community has lost a great human being who helped many people daily with his beautiful smile and willingness to listen to their woes. Tony would always make me smile every morning on my way to work.”