The mother of a 17-year-old boy has made a devastating appeal to end street violence after her son became the 62nd person murdered in London this year. Rhyhiem Ainsworth Barton was killed in a daylight shooting in Warham Street, Southwark, south London, at just after 6pm on Saturday. His mother Pretana Morgan, 38, spoke today on the estate where he lived to call on communities, gangs and the police to do more to end the spate of violence that has rocked the capital this year. Police are now investigating more than 60 alleged murders so far this year, many of them on young people caught up in gang violence. Speaking to reporters, a heartbroken Ms Morgan said: ‘We’re not being protected because of the police. The police are the ones putting us in danger.’
She paid tribute to her ‘handsome boy’ and said: ‘I couldn’t have asked for a better son. ‘He’s got so much potential. My son’s a good boy.’ Holding onto mementos of her son, including teeth collected as a child and a photo of her holding him as a baby, she said: ‘We cannot be doing this all the time, teenagers you need to stop please.
‘Enjoy your life, your youth, get knowledge in your head, get wisdom and knowledge. ‘You only have one life, you better make use of it.’ She claims Rhyhiem, a talented rapper who posted videos of himself on social media under the rap name GB, was targeted by members of a gang who were allegedly spotted driving nearby in a silver BMW armed with a shotgun on Friday and Saturday night. Rhyhiem had previously been stabbed by members of the gang in May 2016, she said, and she was so worried she sent him to live with relatives in Jamaica, where she was born, for his own safety. He only returned to London in February.