A mother has pleaded for her son’s killing to be the last fatal shooting, amid a 24-hour crime wave across the UK.
Rhyhiem Ainsworth Barton was gunned down in London less than 24 hours before two other teenage boys – one aged just 13 – were shot in broad daylight in one of the capital’s streets.
The 17-year-old rapper and aspiring architect had ‘so much potential’, his mother said yesterday as she tearfully told of her ‘handsome boy’.
His death is the latest in a spate of violent crimes in the capital, as police investigate more than 60 alleged murders so far this year.
Official statistics released in April showed the number of homicides in London had surged by 44% in the last 12 months.
The shootings were part of a 24-hour period of bloodshed across the UK during the bank holiday weekend, whit two other men dying in stabbings in Liverpool and Luton.
Police have said extra patrols will be working on bank holiday Monday to keep the capital’s streets safe.
A 20-year-old man died after being stabbed in Liverpool city centre early on Sunday morning, while another victim, also aged 20, was killed in Bishopscote Road in Luton yesterday evening.
Rhyhiem’s mother, Pretana Morgan, called for a stop to devastating violence.
She said: ‘Let my son be the last and be an example to everyone. Just let it stop. What must be, must be.’
She added: ‘It’s not about race, it’s not about nation, it’s not about culture. Nothing. It’s just a human race.
‘Just one human race. So children, please let my son be the last.’
She said her son was not in a gang and he had been ‘trying to make a difference’ by learning to work with children.
Following Rhyhiem’s death, Labour MP David Lammy tweeted: ‘Enough. Enough. My heart goes out to families grieving children and teenagers. So many shattered lives, families and communities.’
In another episode of gun violence on Sunday, a 13-year-old boy suffered a shotgun pellet wound to the head within minutes of another teenager, aged 15, also being injured in a gun attack.
Both boys suffered head injuries in the incident in Wealdstone in Harrow and remain in hospital.
They are not thought to be in a life-threatening condition, a Scotland Yard spokeswoman said.
She added that they are investigating whether the incidents, at two locations in close proximity in High Street on Sunday, were linked.
Meanwhile, three people were injured in a ‘noxious substance’ assault following a fight between two groups in east London at around 5.20am on Sunday.
Police are investigating whether the men, aged 22 and 27, and a 17-year-old boy, suffered life-changing injuries in the incident, at Shacklewell Lane in Hackney.
Just before 6.30pm on Sunday, police were flagged down by a member of the public in New Cross Road, south east London, where a 22-year-old man was suffering from gunshot wounds.
The injured man was taken by ambulance to a central London hospital where his condition is not life-threatening, Scotland Yard said.
And a 43-year-old was stabbed in Ealing after a dispute over a man’s driving down a residential street.
Scotland Yard said officers were called to Buckingham Avenue, Perivale, at just after 9pm on Sunday to reports of a stabbing.
The male victim is in hospital in a stable condition, police added.
Officers believe the suspect, who was driving a blue car, was being questioned about the nature of his driving before stabbing the victim and driving away.