Cops’ plea to teen ‘connected’ to stabbing

Pa Sawm Lyhym, 16, was fatally stabbed in Sunshine on May 18. Picture: Supplied
Pa Sawm Lyhym, 16, was fatally stabbed in Sunshine on May 18. Picture: Supplied

Police have appealed to a 17-year-old boy “connected” to the fatal stabbing of a teenager in Melbourne’s west to hand himself in and have urged community members not to approach him.

Pa Sawm Lyhym, 16, was killed in front of horrified onlookers near a Sunshine train station on Thursday afternoon, while two other 16-year-old boys were injured in the incident.

A “significant player” in the attack, according to police, a 17-year-old boy, remains on the run five days later, with police yet to recover any of the knives involved in the incident.

“We don’t know if he’s still armed,” Detective Inspector Dean Thomas said on Tuesday.

“If anyone does see (him), please do not approach him.”

On Tuesday, police released photos the teen as part of a “significant search”.

Pa Sawm Lyhym, 16, was killed in front of horrified onlookers near a Sunshine train station in May. Picture: Supplied.
Pa Sawm Lyhym, 16, was killed in front of horrified onlookers near a Sunshine train station in May. Picture: Supplied.

Inspector Thomas said police believed the incident unfolded after tensions escalated between two groups of teenagers from different schools.

“The motivation behind the death still remains unknown, but we do believe that there were two groups involved in tit-for-tat incidents in the lead-up to last Thursday’s stabbing,” he said.

Police believe the teen returned to his Hillside home following the stabbing, leaving on Friday morning after which time his whereabouts remain unknown.

While his family has been “very co-operative” with police in searching for the schoolboy, investigators believe others in the community may be helping him evade the authorities.

“He’s a 17-year-old male … he will be floating around out there, and people will know where he is, and that’s why we’re making this appeal today,” Inspector Thomas said.

“People need to be aware that if they are harbouring or assisting (him) … then they may find themselves subject to accessory for this murder.”

Last week, police released CCTV footage of a man wielding a large machete-like object, dressed in a black jacket and blue face mask, running through alleyways near the scene.

Police were not able to confirm whether the person captured in the footage was Mayik but did confirm that none of the weapons involved had been found “at this point”.

CCTV footage captured the moment a knife-welding man ran towards the train station. Picture: Supplied
CCTV footage captured the moment a knife-welding man ran towards the train station. Picture: Supplied
Footage from the Gojo Ethiopian Cafe shows two people running, one with a knife and a red backpack, along Clarke St past a group of diners. Picture: Supplied
Footage from the Gojo Ethiopian Cafe shows two people running, one with a knife and a red backpack, along Clarke St past a group of diners. Picture: Supplied

Police have also boosted their presence and established extra patrols in the area over concerns of possible retaliation attacks between the two groups.

“Reassurance patrols” had also been set up around the victim’s school.

Pa Sawm’s death has left his community reeling, with a steady stream of mourners laying tributes at the scene.

His brother, Mawn Lyhym, described the 16-year-old as a good person.

“He was funny, really nice … welcoming and kind,” Mr Lyhym said.

Pa Sawm’s friends have posted online about avenging the teenager, threatening further violence.

Police do not believe that Pa Sawm was carrying a weapon at the time of the attack.

Stabbing Tributes and Scene
Tributes were laid for the 16-year-old victim at Station Place. Picture: NCA NewsWire /Luis Enrique Ascui
Pa Sawm Lyhym was described as a ‘welcoming and kind person’. Picture: Supplied
Pa Sawm Lyhym was described as a ‘welcoming and kind person’. Picture: Supplied

Police also renewed their calls for the teen to come forward.

“We’ll continue to search until we find him,” Inspector Thomas said.

“Hopefully, we can have him in custody soon so that we can speak to him about his involvement.”

Anyone who witnessed or has information about the incident, or who has mobile phone, dashcam or CCTV footage, has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.