A CHAMPION MMA fighter was stabbed to death at a family barbecue for his 30th birthday party.
Jahreau Shepherd, known as The Nightmare, was celebrating on Saturday with his mum and friends when the fatality took place.
But at around 10pm, the welterweight champ was knifed near an estate in Kennington, South London.
Officers and paramedics tried to stop him bleeding to death but he died at the scene, cops said.
An eyewitness said: “The mother came back to the scene as paramedics were trying to save him.
“She was shouting 'Please keep going please save my baby'. She was screaming and wailing it was horrible to watch."
Friends of Mr Shepherd hugged and wept at the scene yesterday – where dozens of colourful bouquets were left as a tribute.
One message read: “RIP Jahreau I can’t believe this has happened to you and on your 30 birthday celebrations. Thinking of your family.”
Candles spelling ‘Nightmare’ and a photo of him proudly holding championship belts had also been placed by friends The fighter had a 6-2 win record in professional Mixed Martial Arts, five by knockout.
A spokesman for his promoters said: “Jay, our welterweight champion, was hugely talented and great fun to be around, a big personality with a huge smile and infectious laugh.
“Inside the cage, he was destined for the top – a champion in three different organisations with heavy hands and a warrior heart.”
'PLEASE SAVE MY BABY'
His cousin, Tanisha Shepherd, 27, said: “He lived and breathed fighting.
He was so looking forward to the gym opening again after the lockdown and was lining up a fight.
“He had everything to live for. He helped keep the young people on the straight and narrow and was a role model.”
Shortly after the killing, a 26-year-old presented himself to hospital with stab wounds believed to have been sustained at the party.
The man is expected to recover and there has been no arrests, cops said.
Scotland Yard has launched a murder investigation and a post-mortem will be held in due course.
Three men were killed in London over the weekend, with bloodshed returning to the capital as the lockdown continues to ease.
DCI Dave Whellams said: “A man has lost his life and a family has been left suffering unimaginable grief because of the callous use of a knife to inflict fatal injuries.
“Officers who were called to the incident and then paramedics worked to save him, but tragically he died at the scene.
“I will do all I can to get justice for this family, and, along with colleagues from my homicide teams, I will use every available tactic to find whoever is responsible for this terrible attack.
“Our investigation is at an early stage, but we are already building a picture of what happened.
“I would urge any witnesses who have yet to speak to police to call my officers or contact Crimestoppers anonymously to share what they know.”
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