Police appeal for public’s help to find attackers after boy, 15, killed


Murder detectives have urged anyone shielding those responsible for a brutal street attack which left a 15-year-old boy dead to come forward with information.

Naming the victim, West Midlands Police said Keon Lincoln had been set upon with weapons in broad daylight on Thursday.

Witnesses had also described hearing gunshots.

Issuing a photograph of the smiling, smartly-dressed boy, Detective Chief Inspector Alastair Orencas said: "The death of Keon has shocked the whole community and we have increased our patrols in the area."

Addressing the public, he said: "We are determined to apprehend those responsible for his death and bring them to justice, so I would personally appeal to anyone who is withholding information out of misguided loyalty to the offenders, to come forward.

"A teenage boy has died in the most violent of circumstances and we urge you to give us any information you have."

Earlier on Friday, police said a 14-year-old boy had been arrested on suspicion of murdering Keon.

The attack happened in Linwood Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, shortly after 3.30pm on Thursday, after the victim, who lived locally, was set upon by a group of youths.

He was taken to hospital but later died.

A post-mortem examination will take place to establish the cause of death.

Speaking after the arrest, Mr Orencas said: "Our investigation has progressed at pace and this arrest is a positive step forward as we try to establish exactly what happened yesterday afternoon.

Teenage boy killed in Handsworth
Police at the scene in Linwood Road, Handsworth (Matthew Cooper/PA)

"Yesterday's events were shocking and tragic. My thoughts are with the boy's family, who are being supported by specialist family liaison officers at this incredibly sad and difficult time.

"We're doing all we can to fully understand what took place. Violence like this on our streets is heartbreaking and deeply concerning.

"I'd urge anyone who saw anything or has any information to contact us as soon as possible."

Witnesses said shots were heard and the suspects were armed with knives.

Officers believe the group fled in a white car, which crashed into a house in Wheeler Street, Lozells.

Chief Superintendent Steve Graham, the policing commander for Birmingham West, said officers were working to establish a motive for the killing.

Speaking at West Midlands Police HQ, the senior officer said Keon had died at Birmingham Children's Hospital despite the best efforts of highly-trained police officers and paramedics sent to the scene.

Asked what was known to have occurred, Chf Supt Graham said: "We are not sure of all the details at the moment, but we do know that Keon was set upon by this group and suffered a series of serious injuries."

Appealing for dash cam and mobile phone footage, as well as CCTV images from nearby houses, the officer added: "One of the key ways in which we are hoping to solve this crime is from members of the public who might have been nearby.

"Please contact us and give us that footage. They might think 'oh, you only see a snippet' or 'you don't see everything that goes on' – but what we would say is give us all the information that you have."

He said of the victim's family's grief: "It is unimaginable. Who could prepare themselves to lose a 15-year-old son? It's almost indescribable, the pain they must be going through."

A resident of Linwood Road said she had not been at home at the time of the incident, but was shocked to hear someone had been killed.

The NHS worker, who did not give her name, said: "We've lived here 45 years and I've never heard of anything like this.

"It's just shocking and really, really sad."