The gathering was a one-week remembrance of the passing away of the budding Ghanaian footballer. Family, friends, school mates and sympathizers were present at the exact spot in London, Stratford Broadway where the player was murdered.
The young ‘popular’ boy was fatally knifed in his school uniform outside McDonald’s, in Stratford Broadway, at 3.20pm on Thursday.
Paramedics desperately tried to keep the teenager alive, who witnesses saw collapsed in a pool of blood, but he was pronounced dead at the scene just half an hour later. Police believe Baptista, who was described by family as a ‘nice boy’, was either attacked while on the bus or shortly after he got off.
His 15-year-old school friend was also rushed to hospital with stab wounds, where he remains with non-life-threatening injuries
. The talented footballer, who was wearing the uniform of Catholic boys’ school St Bonaventure’s, in Forest Gate, when he was attacked, had recently tried out for League One team Ipswich Town.
Baptista, who was described as an affectionate boy who ‘would always make you laugh’, had phoned his mother Josephine to say he was on his way home just 20 minutes before he was fatally knifed.
His mum had offered to pick him up from school due to the delays on the DLR route amid Extinction Rebellion protests. But he said he would catch the bus after school instead, as he wanted to go to McDonald’s with a friend.
His aunt Aretha Adjei said Baptista’s heartbroken mum “keeps saying how she should have gone and picked him up”.
She told the Evening Standard: “His mother is not coping well. She only has two children. You can’t imagine her pain… ‘”He was a fun-loving boy, very popular with everyone in church, everyone in the street knew him.