Vigil held to offer prayers for life of teenager Keon Lincoln

PA

The mother and twin sister of a 15-year-old who was killed in a gun and knife attack have joined dozens of well-wishers to lay flowers and offer prayers at the scene.

A week on from the fatal attack on Keon Lincoln in Handsworth, Birmingham, those mourning the teenager heard calls for justice to be allowed to take its course.

Speaking to crowds at the scene in Linwood Road, near a makeshift shrine to Keon, family friend pastor Neville Popo said: “Life is not about this. We shouldn’t be standing here now but we’re here and we’re supporting (Keon’s mother) Sharmaine in the best way possible.

Teenage boy killed in Handsworth
Teenage boy killed in Handsworth

“I am saying to all young men, don’t look at this as an opportunity to pay vengeance upon this life.

“Let’s respect life and let’s let things be done in the way that it should be done – that the culprits will be brought to justice and that we can live our lives without fear.

“As a minister, you know that my talk will all be about unity and love, and that we come together and support each other.

“Sharmaine thanks you for your support helping her through this time.”

Flowers at murder scene
Flowers at murder scene

Describing Keon as being like a grandson to him, the pastor said of the killing: “To see this happening now, it breaks my heart and we shouldn’t live so.”

Keon died at Birmingham Children’s Hospital last Thursday after suffering a gunshot and stab wounds in a daylight attack, thought to have involved up to six people, near the junction with Whateley Road.

West Midlands Police said two further arrests have been made in connection with the death.

Speaking at the scene almost a week to the hour after the incident, Detective Chief Inspector Alastair Orencas told reporters: “Earlier today, we arrested a 21-year-old man in relation to conspiracy to commit murder and I can reveal in the last hour we have arrested a further male, a 15-year-old.

“This is a really fast-moving inquiry. We are dealing with a real volume of information but it is gathering a real pace, and I’m very pleased and very proud of the engagement from the community.”

Teenage boy killed in Handsworth
Teenage boy killed in Handsworth

Five other suspects aged between 14 and 16 have been released on bail and under investigation.

Asked if detectives had established a motive for the killing, Mr Orencas said: “We remain open-minded. Any effective investigation will take exactly that stance until the evidence leads you down into a position where you can say why you think something happened.

“The amount of scrutiny that I am putting into this investigation… I am satisfied that everyone is doing their bit 100% to get justice for Keon.

“Let’s not forget that’s exactly what this is about. There’s a 15-year-old boy in a mortuary, who has been murdered just behind me here.

“That’s an absolutely outrageous position for this community to find themselves in.”

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