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Liverpool soccer team honors family of boy gunned down there

Liverpool soccer team honors family of boy gunned down there

Thousands of Liverpool soccer fans paid tribute Tuesday night to the mother and father of an 11-year-old boy who was gunned down in the city in northern England.
Rhys Jones was shot in the neck last week while returning from a game of soccer in his neighborhood of Liverpool, and may have been the unintended victim of gang warfare in his area of the city.
Jones and his family were fans of the city's Everton soccer team, but the rival Liverpool players joined the mourning for the boy Tuesday night at their stadium during a Champions League qualifier against Toulouse.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez hugged Rhys' mother Melanie, 41, and shook the hand of father Stephen, 41, and their eldest son, Owen, 17.
Rhys' family wore the blue colors of Everton in a sea of red Liverpool shirts, but soccer loyalties were set aside in place of grief. There was a minute of applause for the Jones family.
The gesture was made at the suggestion of a local newspaper.
Messages were broadcast several times before the match appealing to witnesses of the shooting to come forward in an area where some people are afraid of retaliation by gangs if they talk to police.
Ten people, many of them teens, have been arrested in Liverpool in connection with Rhys' killing, but all have been released on bail or freed without charge.
The boy's death has shocked Britain, where gun crime is relatively rare. A string of high profile shootings and stabbings involving children has raised concerns about guns and gang violence in the country.


Updated : 2021-04-15 08:23 GMT+08:00