FRIENDS of a Southampton teenager who was stabbed to death have paid tribute.

James Laurie, 17, of Montague Avenue, Southampton, died in hospital on Sunday following reports of a stabbing.

The 17-year-old was rushed to hospital in a serious condition and police confirmed on Sunday that he had died.

Friends of James have now paid tribute to him describing him as an “outgoing and funny” friend, who loved his music and rapping.

Kayne Law, a friend of James, told the Daily Echo: “He was a really lovely lad, so bubbly and always making people laugh.

“He loved his rapping, we were only about 12-years-old when he got me into rapping and I’ve never stopped since then.

“We had a lot of memories when we were younger he was a proper good spirit to be around.

“It’s such a shame what’s happened, I didn’t know him the best but he was always a friend and we always stayed in touch.”

James Gunn added: "It doesn't seem real that he has gone.

"He was always making everyone happy with his good vibes and banter.

"It's mad to think we grew up together and were best mates for a few years.

"Even though we drifted apart over the years, we were still going strong.

"I will never forget him, rest in paradise."

Another friend said: “He was really funny and just nice to be around, if you went out with James you knew you would be fun.

“He was a really popular guy and everyone knew him.”

A 15-year-old boy from Andover, who was arrested on suspicion of murder, remains in police custody.

Yesterday, a forensic team were seen investigating the house where it is believed James was stabbed.

Around ten police cars surrounded the scene, which was cordoned off with police tape.

One resident said: “It’s shocking that it has happened so close to home.

“It’s like a ghost town around here now, everyone is either too scared to leave their homes or too upset to face anyone.

“I’ve lived here all my life and I have never heard of a murder here.”

Chief Inspector Phil Lamb said: “This is a tragic incident in which a young man has lost his life. We believe at this stage that this is an isolated incident, but we are still keen to hear from anyone who was in the Thornhill area on Sunday prior to us being called at 6.15am.

“In addition to the specially trained Family Liaison Officers who are supporting James’s family, a team of detectives, specialist search officers and neighbourhood officers are working on what is a broad and fast-paced investigation.

“We will be conducting extra patrols in the area over the coming days, not only to reassure the community, but also to support the investigation and the searches that we anticipate taking place.

“I understand that the community will be both saddened and concerned by James’s death, so I would again appeal for anyone who has any information to either speak to our officers, call 101 quoting Operation Tint, or leave information via our online portal”