Police seek teen allegedly linked to Sunshine stabbing

Police seek teen allegedly linked to Sunshine stabbing

May 23, 2023

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Police have released images of a Melbourne schoolboy suspected to have been involved in the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Pasawm Lyhym in Sunshine as an extensive search to locate him enters its fifth day.

Seventeen-year-old Mayik Atem has been on the run since last Friday, when he failed to return to his family home in Hillside, in Melbourne’s north-western suburbs.

Mayik Atem, 17, failed to return to his family home on Friday.Credit: Victoria Police

“Images of Atem have been released in the hope someone recognises him and can provide information about his current whereabouts,” police said in a statement.

“At this time it is not known if Atem is armed or has access to any weapons.”

Police said Mayik’s family is concerned about the welfare of the teenager, who is known to frequent the Sunshine, Hillside, Braybrook and Sydenham areas.

Investigators are examining whether someone could have been harbouring the teenager, or he could have been moving around and sleeping rough to evade attention.

Pasawm was killed in front of terrified onlookers at a Sunshine bus stop last Thursday, amid what police believe are escalating tensions between two groups of teenagers from different schools that have led to tit-for-tat assaults and attacks with bladed weapons.

Paramedics tried to revive Pasawm, but he died at the scene. Two other 16-year-old boys were also injured, with one taken to hospital and one treated at the scene.

A source with knowledge of the issue and unauthorised to speak on the record told The Age the rival groups had been “stirring each other up” in the lead-up to the fatal stabbing, with footage captured before the attack and circulated online showing three youths chasing a student with a machete.

Caroline Chisholm Catholic College took the extraordinary measures of hiring security guards to protect its campuses over the weekend, amid fears of reprisal attacks on students by youth group members and friends of Pasawm.

The college has been linked to Pasawm’s attackers and went into lockdown last Friday over concerns teenagers from a rival group were gathering in the area.

Supporters and friends of Pasawm have posted online about avenging the slain teenager and shared a school photograph of Mayik with messages threatening further violence on social media.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said officers were “absolutely concerned” about the possibility of retaliatory violence, but denied youth violence was out of control.

“It’s not getting better. But we’re not seeing huge increases in youth crime by any stage of the game,” he told 3AW.

“There is no one silver bullet, but I can assure you we’re working with our other partner agencies focused on arresting people were required, but trying to divert them out of the justice system and address the root causes.”

Mayik is described as 185-190 centimetres tall, with a slim build and black hair styled in short dreadlocks. It is not known what he was wearing when he was last seen.

Police have urged anyone who spots Mayik not to approach the teenager and call 000 immediately. Detectives are also urging Mayik to contact police or hand himself in at any police station as soon as possible.

Police have interviewed two teenage boys, a 17-year-old from Caroline Springs and an 18-year-old from Burnside, in relation to the incident. Both were released without charge pending further inquiries.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

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