Rihanna Calls for End to Gun Violence After Cousin Killed in Barbados

Rihanna hosts attends the launch of the AW17 FENTY PUMA by Rihanna collection at Bloomingdales on 59th Street on October 13, 2017 in New York City.
Rihanna attends the launch of the AW17 Fenty Puma collection at Bloomingdales on 59th Street in New York City on October 13, 2017. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Rihanna’s 21-year-old cousin Tavon Kaiseen Alleyne was shot and killed in her family’s home country of Barbados on Tuesday, December 26. The “Lemon” singer, 29, took to Instagram to pay tribute.

“RIP cousin… can’t believe it was just last night that I held you in my arms!” she captioned a slideshow of four photos with Alleyne. “Never thought that would be the last time I felt the warmth in your body!!! Love you always man! #endgunviolence.”

According to local reports, Alleyne was walking near his home in Lake Close, Eden Lodge, St. Michael, around 7 p.m. when he was approached by a man who shot him multiple times before fleeing the scene. Alleyne was rushed to a nearby hospital and later pronounced dead. Police in Barbados have launched an investigation.

Alleyne posted a heartfelt message to his “favorite cousin” Rihanna in February in honor of her birthday. “Every day we are happy to have you in our lives,” he wrote at the time. “Happy Birthday cousin, we really love you. Your presence in my life is a source of joy and happiness. To my favorite cousin, may all your dreams and wishes come true. #LoveYouLoads #wishyoumanymoretocome.”

There have been a number of gun-related incidents on the Caribbean island this year. In April, Barbados’ attorney general and minister of home affairs Adriel Brathwaite assured locals during a press conference that the police force was working to effectively combat the issue.

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