'Absolutely devastated' family pay tribute to Alfie Lewis

Alfie Lewis’ ‘absolutely devastated’ family pay tribute to the ‘one in a million’ 15-year-old as they say ‘nothing will ever be the same’ after he was stabbed to death outside Leeds school

The ‘absolutely devastated’ family of Alfie Lewis has paid tribute to the ‘one in a million’ 15-year-old  and say ‘nothing will ever be the same’ after he was fatally stabbed.

Alfie died after being stabbed in the chest outside St Margaret’s Primary School in Horsforth, Leeds yesterday afternoon. He was reportedly knifed while going to the school to pick up another child. 

West Yorkshire Police have arrested two teenagers on suspicion of the teen’s murder. A spokesman said a 14-year-old boy was arrested shortly after the incident in Horsforth, Leeds, yesterday and he remains in custody.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested on yesterday evening but has now been released without charge.

Alfie’s family, in a statement issued through police today, have hailed the teen for having the ‘biggest heart’ and for ‘taking care of everybody around you’.

The ‘absolutely devastated’ family of Alfie Lewis (pictured) have paid tribute to the ‘one in a million’ 15-year-old and say ‘nothing will ever be the same’ after his death

Alfie’s family, in a statement issued through police today, have hailed the teen for having the ‘biggest heart’ and for ‘taking care of everybody around you’. Alfie’s mother Heather Lane is pictured with him when he was young

Police today carried out a search while investigating the stabbing of Alfie Lewis

The Lewis family has described the murdered 15-year-old as ‘one-in-a-million’, saying his nickname was Uncle Alfie.

A family statement issued through West Yorkshire Police said: ‘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.

‘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.’

Specially trained family liaison officers are currently supporting Alfie’s family and officers with the neighbourhood policing team are working to provide reassurance to the community and local schools.

Investigators remain on scene while they carry out forensic examination and specialist searches. 

A bench was covered in hundreds of floral tributes and pictures of the boy, as well as football shirts and a lion teddy. Tea light candles spelled out ‘Alfie’ on the floor 

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 

READ MORE: Alfie Lewis’ mother visits floral tributes for her ‘heart of gold’ son 

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Stacey Atkinson said today: ‘Alfie’s family are absolutely devastated about his death in such sudden and violent circumstances, and we are doing everything we can to support them and get them the answers they need.

‘They have asked that their privacy is respected so that they can begin to grieve at what is clearly a very difficult and painful time for them.

‘We fully appreciate that the murder of a child in these circumstances will cause concern in the community, and we are aware of various discussions and comments on social media.

‘We would ask that people avoid unhelpful and often inaccurate speculation on social media which has the potential to cause unnecessary distress to the family and create issues that divert and distract the police response to this terrible incident.

‘We are still working to build up a clear picture of the circumstances surrounding Alfie’s murder and we ask people to leave it to the investigation to find out what led to Alfie’s tragic death.

‘The exception to this is we would of course still like to hear from anyone who witnessed any part of this incident, which took place in a busy part of Horsforth, or who has any information that could assist the investigation.’

The Lewis family has described the murdered 15-year-old as ‘one-in-a-million’, saying his nickname was Uncle Alfie. Pictured: Alfie Lewis

West Yorkshire Police forensic officers seen today carrying out investigations into the stabbing of Alfie Lewis 

Tributes were paid to Alfie, who lived less than half a mile from where he was fatally wounded in Town Lane yesterday.

His mother Heather Lane today visited the floral shrine left in his memory on a bench close to the family home. She was too upset to speak and is understood to have collapsed in tears.

Alfie’s friends gathered today to lay flowers and pay their respects to the ‘funny’ teen, who they claimed was ‘targeted’ by a known ‘troublemaker’. 

A bench was covered in hundreds of floral tributes and pictures of the boy, as well as football shirts and a lion teddy. Tea light candles spelled out ‘Alfie’ on the floor.

One tribute read: ‘We will all miss you. The memories of playing football on the field and always playing out.’

‘Rip “Uncle” Alfie. A lovely boy gone far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers with your family. Rest in eternal peace. We love you,’ one mourner wrote.

Another tribute simply read: ‘Gone far too soon. Fly high big lad.’

Alfie’s friends last night launched fireworks at the spot in remembrance of the teen

Tributes to Alfie have flooded in following his tragic death yesterday. On read: ‘Rip ‘Uncle’ Alfie. A lovely boy gone far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers with your family. Rest in eternal peace. We love you.’

Heather Lane is pictured with a young Alfie in a photograph left at the makeshift memorial

Alfie had been a pupil at Horsforth School & Sixth Form and turned 15 in September.

It is understood he was expelled around two years ago and no longer attended.

READ MORE: Church leads tributes to murdered Alfie Lewis 

A friend has said that Alfie was instead in a specialist pupil referral unit after leaving mainstream education. He was reportedly 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.’

In a statement to parents, headteacher Horsforth School & Sixth Form Paul Bell said: ‘You will be aware of a distressing incident in the community today involving a former student who’s as stabbed on St Margaret’s Avenue.

‘The police are aware and are working with the school.

‘Our thoughts and sympathies lie with the his at this time while the student is receiving medical treatment.

‘We are aware the distress and upset this has caused students and staff who know the student.’

Friends have claimed that Alfie Lewis (pictured) was walking to Horsforth School to meet his friends at the end of the school day when he was stabbed to death 

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.

‘They stabbed him, jumped back in the car and fled.’

READ MORE: Friends pay tribute to teenage boy, 15, who was stabbed to death outside Leeds school 

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.’

The victim was also 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 Alfie’s family which has so far raised more than £8,000.

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.’

West Yorkshire Police forensic officers seen working at the home of the youth suspected of stabbing Alfie Lewis. The home is about a mile from the scene in Horsforth, Leeds where Alfie was attacked

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

On the fundraising campaign page, Mr Healy added: ‘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.’

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