Tragedy struck Rihanna’s family just one day after Christmas, when her 21-year-old cousin Tavon Kaiseen Alleyne was shot and killed in Barbados on Tuesday (Dec. 26).
The Daily Mail reports that Alleyne was shot several times while walking through a track in the Saint Michael area of Rihanna’s home country. Shortly afterwards, the superstar songstress mourned his death on social media.
“RIP cousin,” she wrote. “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.”
Rihanna, who was recently honored with a street named after her in the parish of Saint Michael, used this incident to shed light on a wider problem. According to the report, this year has seen more gun violence in Barbados than 2016, including 22 gun-related murders out of 28 murders committed overall thus far.
Alleyne was rushed to a hospital in a private vehicle but was unable to survive the injuries. Meanwhile, his shooter remains at large.
In February, Alleyne celebrated his famous cousin on Instagram. “Every day we are happy to have you in our lives,” he wrote. “Happy Birthday cousin, we really love you. Your presence in my life is a source of joy and happiness. To my favorite cousin, may all your dreams and wishes come true. #LoveYouLoads #wishyoumanymoretocome.”