Alfie Lewis’ mother visits floral tributes for her ‘heart of gold’ 15-year-old son after he was stabbed to death as friends say he was victim of targeted attack
Alfie Lewis’ mother has visited the shrine of floral tributes left to her ‘heart of gold’ 15-year-old son after he was stabbed to death in what his friends have alleged was a targeted attack.
Mother-of-two Heather Lane collapsed in tears today as she visited the floral shrine left in his memory on a bench close to the family home.
Ms Lane knelt down in front of a photograph of her with Alfie as a little boy and sobbed uncontrollably for several minutes. She was comforted by a family friend.
Alfie’s friends gathered today to lay flowers and pay their respects to the ‘funny’ teen, who they said was ‘targeted’ by a known ‘troublemaker’.
The victim was friends with the teenage daughter of Matt Healy, a chef who starred in the 2016 TV series of Masterchef: The Professionals. The Healy family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help 15-year-old’s family and it has already raised more than £8,000.
Alfie died after suffering critical injuries in an attack outside St Margaret’s Primary School in Leeds shortly before 3pm yesterday. Witness claim he was stabbed in the stomach by a ‘gang’ of at ‘least three youths who then fled the scene’.
Police have arrested a teenage male in connection with the stabbing.
Alfie’s mother Heather Lane, pictured with him when he was young, visited the scene today
‘Heart of gold’ Alife Lewis (pictured) was stabbed to death yesterday. He was 15 years old
Mother-of-two Heather Lane collapsed in tears today as she visited the floral shrine left in his memory on a bench close to the family home. She is pictured with Alfie in a photograph left at the makeshift memorial
Tributes left on a bench on Broadgate Lane, Horsforth today following the death of Alfie Lewis
Tributes to Alfie have flooded in following his tragic death yesterday. He was 15 years old
Ms Lane spent around three minutes at the the memorial created on bench where her son would regularly meet with friends.
She clutched a blue blanket tightly as she was consoled by Alfie’s older brother Antony, who said his younger sibling had a ‘heart of gold’.
Antony also wept in front of the bench where many tributes and flowers have been left in his memory at the end of Stanhope Drive.
Alfie looked up to his older brother who manages local football team Cosa Nostra.
The friend said: ‘His brother is a good footballer. He wanted to start playing for us once he was old enough.
‘He was just waiting to turn 16 to start playing with us.’
Mr Healey, who owns Forde restaurant in Horsforth, said: ‘It’s absolutely shocking, this is such a sleepy lovely town. There’s never a bad word said and I work in the night time industry.’
Commenting on Alfie’s death, he said: ‘It’s difficult to put into words because 15 is no age. My daughter is very close friends with Alfie. There’s a group of them who hang around together and they are bright kids.’
Asked about knife crime, he added: ‘It’s worrying and shocking but most of all it’s sad. You so worry about your kids all the time.’
A bench where Alfie, 15, used to meet friends near his home, in Horsforth, has become a shrine – with hundreds of floral tributes, football shirts, a lion teddy and candles
Mourners have left bouquets of flowers and a toy car at the police cordon at the junction of Church Road and Church Lane, where Alfie was attacked yesterday
St Margaret’s Church in Horsforth has today opened its doors to wellwishers in the community who wish to offer up prayers and support to Alfie’s family and friends. The church has lit a candle in honour of the teen and placed his photo on a linen-covered table next to a glass cross
Tributes left on a bench on Broadgate Lane, Horsforth, today following the death of 15-year-old Alfie Lewis
The incident happened in an area near to both Horsforth School and St Margaret’s Primary School. It is understood a knife was recovered from the scene.
Friends have claimed that Alfie was walking to Horsforth School to meet his friends at the end of the school day when he was stabbed to death.
One said: ‘He was walking past the primary school and a car pulled up and jumped him. Everyone knows the lad who did it.
‘He’s a troublemaker. He’s aggressive and he turns on people. He was driving around with other people looking for trouble.
READ MORE: Friends pay tribute to teenage boy, 15, who was stabbed to death outside Leeds school
‘They stabbed him, jumped back in the car and fled.’
A close friend of the family said he believed the attack was ‘targeted’ but knew of no reason why Alfie would be the target of such an attack.
‘He would never carry a knife himself, he is just not like that,’ said the friend. ‘He loved going out, playing football and doing boys things.’
Alfie was said to have had ‘troubles’ in his life and attended an educational unit in Leeds for pupils with problems. He was previously a student at Horsforth School but a friend said he was expelled from there.
Another friend told how Alfie was in a specialist pupil referral unit after leaving mainstream education.
He was in Year 10 and studying for GCSEs.
The friend said: ‘School wasn’t for Alfie. It’s not for everyone.
‘He was getting on really well at the special school. He was doing different hobbies, like working with wood and painting.’
Alfie Lewis (pictured) was said to have had ‘troubles’ in his life and attended an educational unit in Leeds for pupils with problems. He was previously a student at Horsforth School but a friend said he was expelled from there
Friends launched fireworks at the spot last night in remembrance of the teen
A bench where Alfie, 15, used to meet friends near his home, in Horsforth, has become a shrine – with hundreds of floral tributes, football shirts and candles.
Friends launched fireworks at the spot last night.
Mourners have also left bouquets of flowers, tribute and a toy car at the police cordon near the scene where he was killed.
St Margaret’s Church in Horsforth has today opened its doors to wellwishers in the community who wish to offer up prayers and support to Alfie’s family and friends.
READ MORE: Church leads tributes to murdered Alfie Lewis
The church has lit a candle in honour of the teen and placed his photo on a linen-covered table next to a glass cross.
A Gofundme page was set up by family friend Matt Healy to help cover the cost of a funeral for the ‘lovely, kind, funny, mischievous, brave and generous young boy’.
Mr Healy wrote on the campaign: ‘On behalf of the family of Alfie Lewis, whose life was tragically and senselessly taken today at the age of only 15; we are trying to raise enough money to support his family and teenage friends through everything they now have to face, much too soon.
‘Alfie was a kind and thoughtful boy who had all of his friend’s best interests at heart.
‘He was loving, mischievous, adventurous and, as such, extremely popular. 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.
‘Please help us show Alfie that Horsforth still loves and will forever miss him.’
The incident happened in an area near to both Horsforth School and St Margaret’s Primary School. Police are pictured at the scene today
Clothes and debris were found on the ground in Horsforth, Leeds yesterday where Alfie Lewis was fatally stabbed
The scene remains cordoned off this morning as officers carry out their investigation. West Yorkshire Police are pictured at the scene today
A tribute posted on Facebook read: ‘I love and miss you so much Alfie fly high my lil ginge. I’ll come see you soon.’
One grieving friend wrote: ‘You will be missed millions. Fly High Alfie Lewis. You never deserved this, you were too good for this world.’ Another added: ‘Heartbreaking. Taken far too soon.’ Alfie was also described as ‘generous, kind and funny’.
Another said: ‘Taken far too soon RIP young man. Condolences to his family and friends at this horrendous time.’
One tribute on the page said: ‘Working with Alfie was an absolute pleasure. His cheeky sense of humour and kind heart will be sorely missed. Absolutely heartbroken.’
Another woman wrote: ‘My son knew Alfie when we lived in Horsforth. No child should be taken from us in such awful circumstances and my heart goes out to his family.’
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak paid tribute to the boy today, saying: ‘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.’
A close friend of the family said he believed the attack was ‘targeted’ but knew of no reason why Alfie (pictured) would be the target of such an attack
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak paid tribute to the boy today, saying: ‘My heart goes out to the family and friends of the young person who was tragically killed.’ Mr Sunak is pictured in a science classroom during a visit to Giles Academy in Old Leake today
During a visit to a school in Lincolnshire, Mr Sunak was asked about the pupils at the boy’s former school and said: ‘My heart and sympathies go out to all of them. They’ve lost a friend and this is awful.
‘I know that they will be shocked by what’s happened. I want to make sure that in all communities across the country we’ve got police officers that are giving people the reassurance they need that their communities are safe.’
Local MP Stuart Andrew posted on social media: ‘The terrible news in Horsforth today is deeply shocking and distressing, and my heartfelt sympathy goes to the family of the victim.
‘I cannot imagine how they will be feeling and my thoughts are prayers are with them at this dreadful time.
‘I am also thinking about the pupils, teachers and staff at Horsforth school, who I know will be devastated.
‘The whole community will be stunned by this as the school is such a proud part of the town, which is a peaceful and welcoming place.
‘I have been keeping in contact with the police and respect the need for them to carry out their investigations.
‘I am sure we will all also want to give the family the space and peace they will need in the coming days and weeks.’
Paramedic paraphernalia is pictured on the ground in Horsforth, Leeds yesterday after Alfie Lewis was attacked
A police officer stands guard today as investigators work the scene where Alfie Lewis was stabbed yesterday afternoon
A teenager was last night arrested and being questioned by murder detectives over the attack. Officers are pictured at the scene today
READ MORE: Alfie Lewis, 15, ‘was picking friend’s little brother up from school’ when he was stabbed to death in Leeds
Jonathan Pryor, deputy leader of Leeds City Council, said on X, formerly Twitter: ‘Heartbroken to learn to (sic) of a serious event in Horsforth this afternoon.
‘I know the distress and upset this will cause students and staff.
‘While there isn’t much we can say at this stage, an arrest has been made, and we will be supporting Horsforth School in every way we can.’
Paul Bell, head of Horsforth School, said: ‘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.’
Emergency service workers attended the scene, including paramedics and the air ambulance. A police helicopter was also seen in the sky. Pictured are forensics investigators working the scene last night
West Yorkshire Police have already spoken to a number of witnesses and but have launched an appeal to hear from anyone who has information about the incident. Officers are pictured at the scene yesterday
West Yorkshire Police said a teenager was last night being questioned by murder detectives over the attack.
Alison Lowe, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime in West Yorkshire, said in a statement today: ‘I am devastated to learn of the tragic death of a 15-year-old boy in Horsforth.
‘My thoughts are with his family and friends and the local community affected by this utterly senseless incident. I will be liaising closely with West Yorkshire Police and partners to ensure we are doing all we can to provide reassurance and support in the days and weeks to come.
‘I am aware an individual has been arrested and this is a live ongoing police investigation. I would urge anyone with information to contact police on 101.’
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