Sheffield stab victim killed on final pizza delivery

Det Supt Lisa Ray: "He was found by colleagues... slumped in his vehicle"

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A pizza delivery man found stabbed to death at the wheel of his car was making his final delivery before starting a new job.

Thavisha Lakindu Peiris, 25, was found dead by colleagues in his car in Southey Crescent, Sheffield, at 22:30 GMT on Sunday.

South Yorkshire Police said he had just accepted a new job as an IT consultant.

Det Supt Lisa Ray said he had lost his life in the "most brutal of fashions" in an apparently motiveless crime.

Start Quote

[Thavisha] was a bright, hard-working, intelligent and caring man”

End Quote Det Supt Lisa Ray South Yorkshire Police

She said: "He was a kind, caring sort of person and not the type that would get into trouble. He was there going about his business and somebody seems to have attacked him without any reason.

"At the moment we don't have any positive leads in terms of who is responsible.

"This isn't a major road or a cut-through to anywhere else so we do believe that it is somebody within this local community or somebody with contacts in this community that they may have been visiting."

'Absolute tragedy'

Thavisha Lakindu Peiris' friend said he could not understand why someone would want to hurt him

Mr Peiris, who was born in Sri Lanka, had been working at Domino's Pizza in Halifax Road after completing a degree in IT at Sheffield Hallam University in 2011.

Ms Ray said more than 50 officers were working on the case and the car was being forensically examined.

"He was a bright, hard-working, intelligent and caring man who had worked hard to develop his career in Sheffield.

"His murder is an absolute tragedy and has caused untold grief for his mother, father and brother in Sri Lanka and for his many friends in Sri Lanka and in Sheffield."

Mr Peiris left the restaurant at 21:50 to make a delivery in Southey Crescent and when the customer called to say he had not arrived, colleagues set off to find him.

They found him dead in the driving seat of his Toyota Yaris in a parking bay near the address where he was due to make the delivery. The doors of the car were closed.

Flowers resting against a wall Flowers were left near the scene of the murder on Southey Crescent

A post-mortem examination found Mr Peiris died from stab wounds.

Ms Ray said: "It is urgent that anyone who saw him, or his car, or anything that they now regard as suspicious, comes forward without delay.

"A family is grieving for a young man whose life has been taken from him in the most brutal of fashions, and we owe it to him and his family to find the person or persons responsible".

She said Mr Peiris had spoken to his mother every day since he had come to Britain and his relatives were preparing to travel to Sheffield from Sri Lanka.

The manager at Mr Peiris' branch of Domino's Pizza, Ravi Marripudi, said: "It is so shocking. He was such a kind person.

"If someone had wanted money, he would not have fought, he would have handed it over."

'Nice, humble person'

Mr Marripudi said Mr Peiris had not been feeling well on Sunday evening and "wanted to go home but he said he would deliver this last one."

He added that four of his delivery drivers had decided to leave their jobs since the stabbing.

A spokesman for the company said it was doing all it could to assist the police investigation.

"All at Domino's Pizza are shocked and saddened by his death and our thoughts and prayers go out to his colleagues, friends and family."

Hassan Natheer, an IT worker and Mr Peiris' housemate, said he was a "kind person" who "just worked hard".

"He was ready for the next step in life. He just wanted to finish off with Domino's. He loved the job but he wanted to come back again to IT."

A spokesman for Sheffield Hallam University said it was "saddened" to hear of Mr Peiris' death.

South Yorkshire Police said a number of men arrested had been questioned and released without charge.

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