Mother of murdered teenager appeals for help to track down son’s killers

Matthew Cooper, PA
·3-min read

The mother of a 15-year-old boy who was murdered in a daylight street attack has said she heard the gunshots that killed him.

In a direct appeal for witnesses to help catch her son Keon’s killers, Sharmaine Lincoln described his murder as senseless and “every parent’s worst nightmare”.

Keon died at Birmingham Children’s Hospital last Thursday after suffering gunshot and stab wounds when he was set upon by a gang of youths in Linwood Road, Handsworth.

In a pooled media interview, his grieving mother said: “I heard the gunshots and my first instinct was ‘where’s my son?’ Those were the first words I said.

“Then a few minutes went by – I found out that there was somebody up the road and … it was my boy.”

Sitting beside Keon’s twin sister Kiarah to issue her appeal for information, Ms Lincoln asked: “How do you live after your child has been taken away from you? It’s every parent’s worst nightmare.

“What he could have done to warrant this type of brutality doesn’t make sense. He can’t have been taken like this and nobody is punished for it.”

Teenage boy killed in Handsworth
Police officers searching the scene in Linwood Road, Handsworth (David Davies/PA)

Describing her son as “fun-loving, full of life and cheeky” with a lot of love for family and friends, she added: “His laugh was unbelievable. Not a day would go by where you wouldn’t hear it.

“Come forward to help us … help us to understand why this has happened. It doesn’t make sense to us.

“The type of person Keon was it doesn’t make sense as to why anybody would want to harm him, or take his life in such a brutal way.”

West Midlands Police have arrested five boys aged 14 to 16 in connection with the killing, four of whom remain in custody.

Teenage boy killed in Handsworth
Forensic officers at the scene of the killing (Matthew Cooper/PA)

Detective Chief Inspector Alastair Orencas, who is leading the investigation, said: “The answer to this investigation lies in the community.

“In the 24 years that I’ve been serving in the police service, and I don’t say this lightly, this is the most gratuitous use of violence seeing a combination of knife and gun attack which ultimately killed Keon.

“We know that the nature of this crime, where it involves a young man that has lost his life and young men that have committed the crime, means that the information and intelligence is highly likely to rest with the younger community but also their parents.

“I know it’s not easy to come forward but there is a moral obligation – imagine this was your friend or your son, you’ve got to come forward.”

DCI Orencas added: “There are multiple offenders involved in broad daylight.

“I simply don’t believe there isn’t information out there that can help me with the inquiry.”