These are the first pictures of a 14-year-old boy who was chased and stabbed to death near a McDonald’s drive-thru in broad daylight.
Devastated friends paid tribute to the teenager, named locally as schoolboy Deajohn Reid, as they shared photos and videos of him on Instagram and Facebook.
Four men, aged 33 to 38, and two boys, aged 13 and 14, were arrested on suspicion of murder after Deajohn was stabbed in the chest in Kingstanding, Birmingham, at about 7.30pm on Bank Holiday Monday.
He was said by a witness to have been killed after a group chased him toward a drive-through McDonald’s. Medics raced to save him but he died at the scene.
One friend wrote on Instagram: “Long live Deaj. It don’t feel right. Would do anything to have you back.”
Another friend wrote: “RIP bro, never thought this day would come. You never failed to make me laugh.”
And a third added: “Words can’t explain how much I miss you right now. You will forever be in my heart.”
A friend of the victim told the Mirror: “He was a top kid. I can’t believe he’s gone.”
Police At The Scene Where A Boy Was Fatally Stabbed In Kingstanding
He added that Deajohn had problems at school with bullies, had got into a fight and was then expelled.
Mourners have left bouquets of flowers at a memorial at the scene.
A witness said a group of white teenagers pounced on the black victim “like a pack of wild animals” in broad daylight.
Officers had said there was “nothing to suggest” the stabbing was racially motivated but later declared they were “keeping an open mind” about motive.
West Midlands Police said a post-mortem examination confirmed the youngster died from a stab wound to the chest.
Det Ch Insp Stu Mobberley, leading the inquiry, said: “We’ve made rapid progress on the investigation so far and these arrests are a significant step forward.
“Our officers have executed a series of warrants in the region and we’ve worked with police forces outside the area to apprehend suspects.
“We’re still speaking to witnesses and really need to hear from anyone who has seen or heard something, even if they think we may already know or they’re not sure how important it is.
“We are aware of many different rumours circulating about the motive for the murder but we are keeping an open mind and pursuing all lines of enquiry. We ask people not to speculate on social media.”
West Midlands Police has voluntarily referred the case to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after “looking at previous incidents involving the victim”.
Police on Tuesday arrested a man aged 33 in Kingstanding and a boy, 13, in the Walsall area.
Later a man aged 38 and a boy of 14 were arrested from a vehicle in Cheshire and two men, 36 and 35, surrendered at separate police stations in the West Midlands.
All six suspects remain in custody.