Rihanna has called for an end to gun violence after her cousin Tavon Alleyne was shot and killed in Barbados over Christmas.
The 29-year-old singer shared the sad news on her Instagram page on Tuesday night (28Dec17), alongside a gallery of pictures of herself and her 21-year-old relative.
“RIP cousin… can’t believe it was just last night that I held you in my arms! never thought that would be the last time I felt the warmth in your body!!! Love you always man! #endgunviolence,” the Diamonds singer wrote.
While the circumstances of Tavon’s death have yet to be confirmed, the Barbados Today newspaper reported that Tavon was “walking through a track in the area of his house when he was approached by a man who shot him multiple times before fleeing the scene”. The publication also reports that the shooting occurred at 7pm on 26 December in the parish of Saint Michael in the island country.
Rihanna has long been campaigning for gun violence to come to an end – both in her home country of Barbados and her adopted home of the United States.
She attracted criticism by getting a gun tattooed on her side in 2009, but told Elle magazine in an interview that she considers it a symbol of strength, having added it to her collection in the midst of her abusive relationship with now ex Chris Brown.
“Everybody wanted to know what was happening in my life. Is she a drug addict? No. Is she an alcoholic? No. Is she a victim? No,” Rihanna told the magazine. “That’s when I got the gun. It was a symbol of strength. I’ll never be a victim.”