14-year-old Dea-John Reid was fatally stabbed in what police are calling a hate crime, according to the Guardian. Reid was chased down and stabbed around 7:30 p.m. by four men and two boys in Birmingham, England, on May 31.
West Midlands police said that Reid and his friends were involved in a verbal confrontation with the men in which they were called racial slurs, including the N-word. The four men, all in their 30s, along with two teens aged 13 and 14, later chased him and his friends down a busy street before stabbing Reid in the chest. The boy died at the scene. Reid and his friends were reportedly on their way or returning from playing football.
An autopsy confirmed that Reid died of a stab wound to his chest. The four men and two teens were later arrested. George Khan, 38, Michael Shields, 35, and the 14-year-old boy are charged with murder. A 16-year-old boy was also detained in connection to the murder on June 5. Two men, 33 and 36, were released along with the 13-year-old boy.
At first, police weren’t convinced that the murder was racially motivated but have since declared it a hate crime. Detective Chief Inspector Stu Mobberley made a statement regarding Reid’s murder.
“As the investigation has progressed we now believe there was an incident involving Dea-John and his friends shortly before the murder. That quickly escalated, resulting in Dea-John’s tragic death. During this precursor incident racist language was directed at Dea-John and his friends; that’s now being investigated.”
Mobberley added that they are searching for witnesses who may have seen or heard something to help the investigation.
The family visited the site where Reid was stabbed to death. “What am I supposed to do without my son,” his heartbroken mother cried. The family also released a statement.
“This loss not only affects us but everyone Dea-John knew, we have lost a son, his siblings have lost a brother and others have lost a friend. The passing of this incredibly talented young boy will be felt by us all. How many more mothers will have to mourn for their sons for this to stop?”
Activist Desmond Jaddoo set up a GoFundMe for Reid’s family to help with the funeral expenses. The fundraiser has raised £14,965.