Singer and entrepreneur Rihanna took to Instagram to mourn the death of her cousin, using the post to urge the world to come together and put an end to gun violence.
While the Barbados-born star did not name her slain relative, a local news organization on the island reported that Tavon Kaiseen Alleyne, 21, was fatally shot after Christmas.
The two had spent the holidays together before he became yet another victim of gun violence. Reports claim he was gunned down several times while walking around his house.
The cousins were seemingly very close as Alleyne used Instagram to wish Rihanna a happy birthday back in February, referring to her as his "favorite cousin."
“Every day we are happy to have you in our lives. 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,” he wrote.
The day after Christmas, Rihanna shared photos of her and her cousin, saying she couldn’t believe that she was never going to be with her relative again.
In July 2017, Barbados law enforcement reported heightened concern related to the rise in gun-related violence in the country.
Now that Rihanna has used her cousin’s tragic death to raise awareness to the problem, one can only hope that local lawmakers and officials will take heed, working hard to come up with real solutions.
Additionally, Rihanna's plea resonates here in the United States as gun violence continues to plague our nation and contribute to many untimely deaths, like her cousin's, daily.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters