A police officer who chased and arrested a man he witnessed commit a murder, has been recognised by the Commissioner for his bravery.
On Tuesday, 4 September 2017, Sergeant Matthew Ebbs, was working in plain clothes on an initiative to target reports of local drug dealing.
At about 11:45hrs, whilst on his way to join colleagues he saw two men in an apparent argument, before one produced a 12 inch carving knife and stabbed the other.
Without any thought for his own safety, 26-year old Sergeant Ebbs who at the time was a police constable based in Camden, confronted the suspect and identified himself as a police officer. The man, who was still armed with the knife, initially ran at the officer, before he turned and ran away. Sergeant Ebbs chased him along Hampstead Road, where the man threw the murder weapon over a railway bridge onto the tracks below. After some distance the chase ended on Harrington Street where Sergeant Ebbs was able to detain and arrest the suspect.
Sadly, despite the efforts of members of the public, police officers and ambulance staff, the victim, 20-year old Mohamed Aadam Mohamed, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sergeant Matthew Ebbs who has been a police officer for five years, said: "The events of that day were saddening and traumatic. I cannot begin to imagine the grief that is felt by Mohamed's family.
"Like most days, I started my shift not knowing what I would be dealing with, but I never imagined that I would witness such an incident.
"The incident happened so quickly and after witnessing the attack I was faced with a man brandishing a knife running towards me and members of the public. My police training and instinct led me to confront and chase him but it was heartening that members of public tried to save the victim, and I am grateful that a passing cyclist, unaware of what had happened or the risks involved, bravely offered his help to me whilst I struggled with the suspect.
"I am humbled to have been awarded a Commissioner's Commendation for bravery, but I have no doubt that I acted in the same way that many of my colleagues would have, doing what was right at the time to protect the public."
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, said: "Every day police officers come to work not knowing what they will have to deal with, but this was both an extraordinary and tragic event. Our thoughts remain with Mohamed's family and loved ones.
"I am proud to be able to recognise Matt's bravery with a Commendation. He acted without a thought for his own safety, after a considerable foot chase and a violent struggle, arresting him. That Matt was in plain clothes made the whole episode more dangerous and he showed courage, quick thinking and great professionalism.
"I am also very grateful to the members of the public who tried to save Mohamed's life, and delighted to award a Commendation to the cyclist who bravely stepped in to help Matt, whilst he struggled with the man."
Erick Ekam, 19, (04.12.99), of Falkland Road, NW5, was sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday, 21 December. He must serve a minimum of 17 years before he can be considered for release.