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Family of ‘one in a million’ boy stabbed to death near Leeds school pay tribute

The 15-year-old, named as Alfie Lewis, died of his injuries after he was stabbed in Leeds, West Yorkshire

Alexander Butler,Athena Stavrou
Wednesday 08 November 2023 16:13 GMT
Floral tributes laid in honour of stabbed Leeds schoolboy

Tributes have been paid to a “kind and caring” teenage boy who was stabbed to death as children were leaving two nearby schools.

Alfie Lewis, 15, was pronounced dead in hospital after being stabbed in the Horsforth area of Leeds on Tuesday afternoon.

A statement from Alfie’s family said the teenager “will never know just how much [he was] loved”.

Alfie Lewis, 15, was stabbed to death on Tuesday (West Yorkshire Police)
Floral tributes left at the scene of the tragedy (PA)

It read: “I haven’t got the words to describe how devastated we all are. Alfie you were one in a million, so funny and an all-round entertainer with your rapping and dancing feet.

“You had the biggest heart and took care of everybody around you. You will never know just how much you are loved by family and friends, and you will always be our uncle Alfie.”

Uncle Alfie was the 15-year-old’s affectionate nickname given to him by his family, who added: “We love you so much. Nothing will ever be the same without you. You will shine in the sky, as bright as you did in all our lives. I love you more than words can say, and you will always be with us forever. Love you Uncle Alfie.”

Have you been affected by this incident? Email athena.stavrou@independent.co.uk

On Wednesday morning, people began bringing flowers to the scene at the junction of Church Road and Church Lane, which remained cordoned off, as Alfie was described by well-wishers as “a lovely, kind, funny, mischievous, brave and generous young boy”.

The organisers of a fundraising site set up in Alfie’s memory on behalf of his grieving family said his life was taken too soon.

“Alfie was a kind and thoughtful boy who had all of his friend’s best interests at heart,” Matt Healy wrote on the Gofundme page, which has already more than doubled its £5,000 goal. “He was everything a 15-year-old child should be and his life was senselessly taken from him before he had the chance to grow into it.

“His loss is felt deeply by the whole of Horsforth. A lovely, kind, funny, mischievous, brave and generous young boy lost his life tragically and his family, friends, and all who knew him, would love to give him the funeral and tribute he deserves.

Alfie’s mother and brother attended the scene on Wednesday, the MailOnline reports, visiting a bench being used as a memorial for their loved one.

Forensics teams were seen on Tuesday night in Horsforth (PA)

A candlelit vigil was held on Tuesday night not far from the police cordon, with around 50 young people in attendance. People could be seen hugging each other, with some wiping away tears.

One note left at the memorial read: “I don’t know if you realised how many friends you had and how many people care about you but they were out in force for you tonight laying flowers and lighting candles for you at your bench.” “Sleep tight little one,” another added.

West Yorkshire Police said a 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of murder shortly afterwards and he remains in custody. A 16-year-old boy was also arrested on suspicion of murder Tuesday evening but has now been released without charge.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak offered his condolences when asked about the boy’s death during a visit to a Lincolnshire school.

He said: “My heart goes out to the family and friends of the young person who was tragically killed.

“What I want to say is, we’re doing everything we can to clamp down in particular on knife crime as it impacts young people.”

The incident happened in an area near to both Horsforth School and St Margaret’s Primary School.

Both schools were open on Wednesday and a message on the secondary school’s website said: “School is open today. Support will be given to students.”

Police are appealing for information (PA)

Horsforth School head Paul Bell said in a statement: “Horsforth School is overwhelmed by the kindness and support offered to us following the tragic loss of one of our former students yesterday.

“Everyone’s thoughts and sympathies lie with the boy’s family and friends.

“A tragedy like this is a huge shock to our school and local community, and we understand that people will be deeply affected by this rare incident.

“However, we know the community will rally together to support each other during this very sad and difficult time.

“We are working with Leeds City Council and others agencies to support our students and staff who have been affected.”

On Wednesday, police were guarding a second sealed-off area at the junction of Town Street and Church Lane.

Detective Chief Inspector said: “Our investigation is at an early stage and we are carrying out extensive enquiries to establish exactly what led to this needless loss of a young man’s life.

“We understand the immense impact and huge shock a tragic incident of this nature will will have on the community locally.

“Our neighbourhood police team are working with partners, including schools in the area to offer support and reassurance.

“We have already spoken to a number of witnesses and are keen to hear from anyone who has information about the incident.”

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