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Family of man killed in shooting left ‘heartbroken’ after shrine is moved

Council leader praised for ‘compassion’ as he meets parents to discuss permanent memorial

31 July, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

The flowers left in memory of Imani Allaway-Muir before they were moved

A SHRINE dedicated to a young man who was killed in a shooting has been removed from the spot where he died, leaving his family “heartbroken”.

Imani Allaway-Muir, 22, died earlier this month after being shot in the Westbourne Estate, Holloway.

Within days a huge shrine of flowers, pictures and candles had built up as loved ones paid tribute.

Council officers moved a majority of the items to nearby Paradise Park last week after some residents complained Mr Allaway-Muir’s friends were gathering at the scene at night.

Town Hall leader Councillor Richard Watts met with Mr Allaway-Muir’s parents Jason and Keetha this week to discuss plans for a permanent memorial to the former St Mary Magdalene Academy student after it became apparent that the move had caused distress.

Imani Allaway-Muir died earlier this month

Ms Allaway, who rushed to the murder scene moments after her son was shot, said: “We can’t get that image out of our heads. Until we see Imani again, until we can actually bury him, our last vision of our son is there on that ground.

“So in a weird way we still feel like his spirit is there because he has not been laid to rest. When we go there it’s almost like we can feel him.”

She added: “As a parent you want to know every detail. When we’re there we are playing the scene over and over in our heads trying to accept what’s happened to him.”

Mr Muir said: “When you stand at the spot where he died, you can feel a different energy. Even when you are there by yourself you just need to sit and look at his pictures and you feel something.

“When I look at the pictures it’s like he moves, it’s like he talks to me.”

Mr Allaway-Muir’s body has not been released to the family yet.

Ms Allaway praised the “compassion” shown by Cllr Watts after they met on Tuesday morning.

Council leader Richard Watts met the family

They discussed plans to create a bench for Mr Allaway-Muir to be placed next to one that is already in Paradise Park dedicated to a friend.

“They get why it is so important for us to have these memorial spots,” she said. “I want to say thank you to the council and to the police. I don’t usually have a great relationship with the police, I have never thought very highly of how they deal with the youth of today.

“But since Imani passed away the actual specialised homicide officers and just your normal bobbies, I can’t fault them. We are grateful.”

Five men have been charged with murder over the shooting

An Islington Council spokeswoman said: “The murder of Imani Allaway-Muir was a tragedy and our heartfelt condolences are with his family and friends.

“We understand that many of his family and friends want to pay tribute to Imani, and we have moved the memorial site to nearby Paradise Park where there is more space.

“We remain in regular contact with Imani’s family and have agreed that a more permanent memorial might be put in place, such as a memorial bench or tree nearby.

“Our overall approach to tribute sites is that they are temporary and we will continue to talk with Imani’s family on that basis.”

A fundraising page has been set up to help the family pay for Imani’s funeral costs. To donate go to: www.gofundme.com/f/imani-taken-too-soon

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