A father threw himself on top of his son in a desperate bid to shield him from a knife-wielding gang who stabbed him to death in the street.
Luke Fitzpatrick, 25, was murdered after a group of men armed with bats and knives dragged him out of a north London pub on Saturday night.
Friends and relatives of the roofer told today how his father, Bernard, was stabbed several times while trying to protect him from his attackers.
Mr Fitzpatrick’s attackers were described as acting like “a pack of wolves” by storming into the the pub near his home in Dollis Hill.
Police said the killing followed an argument in the pub though some witnesses said it ocurred after a dispute in a shop opposite.
Three people were arrested, including two 17-year-old men who still being questioned in custody today.
The victim’s best friend, Ricci Whiteside, 25, who was with him all evening said: “There was an argument in the shop opposite the pub at half-time. Luke wasn’t anything to do with it, but we all heard that something had gone on.
“A group of black guys arrived at the door of the pub with bats and knives and they were looking for someone who had been outside the shop earlier.
“People were throwing chairs at the door to try and stop them from coming in.
“There was a lot of confusion. They got Luke and dragged him outside. They were pulling him up the road.
“His dad was running after them. But by the time he got to Luke he was already on the floor. Bernie threw himself on top of Luke. He was trying to protect him, but it was too late.”
Tess Fitzpatrick, Bernard Fitzpatrick’s sister, said: “The men who came for Luke were like a pack of wolves. My brother ran after them as they were dragging Luke up the street.
“He covered him with his body, but they had already stabbed Luke all over.”
Ms Fitzpatrick said she had spent yesterday at the bedside of her brother, 56, who is believed to have been stabbed four times. He suffered massive internal injuries after one of the stab wounds punctured his liver.
Last night more than 100 friends and family gathered at the crossroads outside The Ox and Gate Pub on Oxgate Lane, where Luke was watching the Champions League final prior to the attack.
Many left tributes and flowers. One card read: “Luke, you was a true gent. I’ll never forget you.”
Friends and family told described Luke, who was single, as a big-hearted, energetic hard-worker, who was well known in the community.
Luke’s mother Constance, 56, was in Majorca with her other son Ryan, 21 on Saturday night. She flew back to London yesterday morning.
A relative at their home, just metres from the pub said last night: “She has just come back and she is grieving. She is terribly upset.”
A forensic tent was in place this morning at the murder scene, which remained cordoned off.
Detective Chief Inspector Tim Duffield said: “We urgently need to hear from anyone who was in or near the Ox and Gate pub around 11.30pm that evening.”