A 15-year-old boy died yesterday after falling from a balcony staircase inside Kingston's Bentall Centre.
Joon Kyu Kim, whose identity was revealed this morning, was a student at Coombe Boys School in New Malden. Headteacher Deborah Walls described him as an 'asset to the school,' while friends said he dreamed of becoming a vet. His death occurred the day before term was due to end.
Shoppers in Kingston's busy shopping mall described hearing a 'sickening thud' as the teenager landed outside Mothercare. Parents tried to protect their children from seeing his body.
He did not die upon impact, and police and ambulances were called to the scene at 4.50pm. Having suffered multiple head injuries and fractures, he was taken to St George’s Hospital, where he died less than two hours later. His family have been informed.
Kingston police are investigating the death, which is being treated as non-suspicious. No one heard a shout before the boy fell, which many believes indicates he jumped.
The shopping mall was quickly evacuated, as police cordoned off the area and a clean-up operation began.
“Someone just jumped from the Bentalls centre in Kinston we had to evacuate it was the loudest thud ive ever heard in my life I pray hes okay” tweeted @a_mill_ee.
“It was the noise I can't get out of my head!! Feel physically sick!!” agreed @Vikkidawes.
It is the third time someone has fallen from a height and died in the Bentall Centre.
Last night, locals took to Twitter to express their shock.
“Can't believe someone has jumped from the top of the Bentall Centre in Kingston again!!” tweeted @Katie_cpfc_xx.
“Another person has jumped off the top floor of the bentalls centre, this is happening so much I am never going there again” added @GemmaI0izou.
Today, the Bentall Centre has reopened as usual, and Fun Learning UK are still encouraging children to come to their Hama Fun Day tomorrow.
"Walking through Bentalls Centre & it's like nothing happened here yesterday... Feels weird" tweeted @SamAllen24.