Pop star Rihanna is mourning her cousin and calling for an end to gun violence after 21-year-old Tavon Kaiseen Alleyne was shot dead in Barbados on Boxing Day.
Rihanna, 29, who had spent Christmas Day with Alleyne, paid tribute to her cousin on social media with the hashtag #EndGunViolence.
“RIP cousin… can’t believe it was just last night that I held you in my arms!” she captioned the album of photographs.
“Never thought that would be the last time I felt the warmth in your body!!! Love you always man!”
According to local news station, Nation News, Alleyne was walking through the St Michael area – where Rihanna was born – around 7pm on Tuesday night when he was approached by a man who shot him several times. He died in hospital.
The investigation into the death is ongoing, however Barbados Police earlier this month revealed there’s been a significant increase in gun-related violence in the last 12 months, Daily Mail reports.
In July this year, The Royal Barbados Police Force reinforced its anti-gun unit because of the growing gun problem. Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith said at the time firearms were used in almost 80 per cent of unlawful killings, according to St Lucia Times, up from 72 per cent in the year before.
A commenter on Rihanna’s video of Alleyne – which shows the 21-year-old walking with his brothers and sisters saying “it’s nice to wake up” – said gun violence in the Caribbean is “so bad right now”.
“The gun violence is killing our people. It’s so bad in the Caribbean right now,” the commenter wrote. “It breaks my heart. Sorry for you loss. I feel your pain. My cuz was shot. My uncle was robbed and beaten and he died in the hospital. God bless and cover our island men.”
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