Riot Victim's Father: 'Calm Down And Go Home'

Lisa Dowd, Midlands correspondent
Riot Victim's Father: 'Calm Down And Go Home'

The father of a man allegedly murdered while trying to defend businesses from looters has urged those involved in unrest to "calm down and go home".

Haroon Jahan, 21, died alongside two brothers after being hit by a car on Dudley Road in the Winson Green area of Birmingham in the early hours of this morning.

The two other victims have been named locally as Shezad Ali and Abdul Musavir.

Haroon's father, Tariq, said: "Last night we lost three cherished members of our community.

"They were taken from us in a way that no father, mother, sister or brother should have to endure.

"Today we stand here to plead with all the youth to remain calm (and) for our communities to stand united. This is not a race issue.

"Blacks, Asians, whites - we all live in the same community. Why do we have to kill each other?

"I lost my son. Step forward if you want to lose your sons. Otherwise, calm down and go home."

He also called for witnesses and said people should have faith in the police.

But after he spoke, some tension erupted and onlookers began shouting, upset about what had happened in the area.

Mr Jahan climbed onto a van and called for order. "Have some respect," he said. "I have lost a son. Don't kick off again."

Prime Minister David Cameron described the apparent hit-and-run killings as a "truly dreadful incident" and offered his condolences to their families.

Mr Jahan earlier described the moments the tragedy unfolded and said his son was "trying to help the community".

"I heard a thud, ran round and saw three people on the ground," he said.

"My instinct was to help the three people. I did not know who they were, who had been injured.

"I helped the first man and somebody told me my son was lying behind me so I started CPR on my own son.

"My face was covered in blood, my hands were covered in blood."

Resident Mohammed Abdullah was driving down the street when the incident happened.

"I saw two cars hit a number of people, who flew high up in the air," he said.

"I was driving directly behind them - I saw a silhouette of two bodies going up in the air and landing down."

At a news conference, Chief Constable of West Midlands Police Chris Sims said one man had been arrested for murder "because the information we have would support that a car was deliberately driven".

Mr Sims appealed for more information from the public and revealed that Prime Minister David Cameron will be visiting the area later today.

Mr Sims said he was did not want a single incident to lead to "distrust" and "violence" between different communities.