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Stabbing victim Romario was ‘amazing, loving and funny’, says sister

Family of 15-year-old are left ‘devastated’ by killing near school gates

05 February, 2021 — By Calum Fraser

Romario Opia was a former pupil at Beacon High

A SISTER has paid tribute to her “funny, loving and amazing” teenage brother who was stabbed to death last week.

A 17-year-old has been charged with murder after Romario Opia, 15, was knifed just yards from the City of London Highgate Hill Academy school gates in the Elthorne estate, Archway, last Monday.

Distraught friends and family have held a vigil at the spot where Romario died, leaving flowers and candles in his memory.

A heartbreaking note left by his mother Kay said: “Romario, my baby, I miss you. Mummy just wants you to be happy, I want to be with you but I can’t. We will be together again one day soon baby boy, Mummy promises. Until then, rest in peace my sweet baby.”

His sister, Richina, has set up an online crowdfunding page to help the family cover the funeral and burial costs.

On behalf of her family, she wrote: “Romario was a beloved son, brother, grandson and great-grandson who was loved by his family and friends.

“This is a devastating time for my whole family. He was a funny, loving, amazing person.

Friends and family held a vigil for the teenager

“Everywhere he went he made a big impact on everyone and all his friends and family love and miss him so much.

“Everyone who knew Romario knows he had a big smile and an enthusiasm for life. He made everyone laugh, he was happy and confident and had a big heart.

“Too many mothers are hurting because young people are getting killed by knife crime and it needs to change.”

In a separate web page also set up to provide financial support to the family, Romario’s auntie, Chanae Wright, added: “He was a respectful, loving, good boy, and it truly breaks my heart that we lost him in this way.

“He wasn’t in gangs [or involved in] drugs or any crimes. He was just a beautiful boy who loved his friends and family.”

Police were called to Holland Walk at around 5.30pm last Monday where Romario was later pronounced dead at the scene.

It is understood that as a child Romario attended the New River College pupil referral unit (PRU) primary school and last year he went to Beacon High, formerly Holloway School.

He was known for riding his bike around Upper Holloway and he had previously reached out to Mac Ferrari-Guy, the founder of the “Bikestormz” campaign which aims to use cycling as a way of keeping children safe from knife crime. Their slogan is “knife down, bike up”.

Romario’s friends have asked Mr Ferrari-Guy to organise a “ride-out” in his memory as soon as lockdown restrictions have been eased.

In a message on social media, he wrote: “For the last week I been racking my brain on how to get across to you the depth of this knife crime situation. It’s been blow after blow. This is my third message like this, this year alone. To Rom’s family and friends, I’m so sorry for your loss and I pray the pain eases if possible.”

• To make a donation to the crowdfunding page set up by Romario’s family, visit www.gofundme.com/f/romsworld

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