The family of Alexander Kareem, who was killed in a case of mistaken identity, is begging the public to not view his death as ‘just another black boy who’s been shot’.
In a heartfelt eulogy to her brother, Khafi Kareem, 30, said she and her brothers ‘would have taken the bullet for him’, after Mr Kareem was shot dead in the street in Askew Road, Shepherd’s Bush, west London, on June 8.
Police said Mr Kareem, 20, was killed as he left a convenience store in a case of mistaken identity shortly after 12.30am.
Speaking after his funeral, Miss Kareem said: ‘To anybody who’s seen this (in the news) and is thinking this is just another black boy who’s been shot by violence, I want to tell you that is not the case.
‘Alex’s life mattered, he had a future ahead of him, he’s not just another black boy.
‘He had a family, he had friends, this is real.’
Around 30 people attended the funeral service at the Church of the Holy Ghost and St Stephen in Shepherd’s Bush on Wednesday, and dozens more paid their respects at the burial in Margravine Cemetery in Hammersmith.
Miss Kareem, who works as a police officer, added: ‘There are real lives that have been impacted, real people who are broken.
‘There are so many people who have turned up today and we are here for justice.
‘I am begging whoever knows anything please find it in your heart to come forward.
‘I feel bad that we’ve had to bury Alex and his killers are still not found, can he really rest in peace when his killers are roaming around?’
The youngest of four siblings, Mr Kareem was described as ‘brainy and intelligent’, and a computer whizz who enjoyed coding and playing the video game Fortnite.
He was about to embark on a new chapter of his life by starting university in September to study computer science.
Miss Kareem said: ‘My mum named him after Alexander the Great, because, even though he’s the youngest, my mum always knew this is where greatness was going to come from in our family.
‘He’s really funny and always energetic, he was just becoming a man, looking after himself and giving back to us as a family.
‘And most importantly he was innocent, he had nothing to do with the horrid, horrible lifestyle that took him away, he had nothing to do with that.’
Mr Kareem is survived by his mother Victoria Oloniluyi, sister Khafi, and brothers Henry, 29, and Kabir Kareem, 26.
Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting the reference CAD224/08June, or to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or online.