So sad. Rihanna’s 21-year-old cousin Tavon Kaiseen Alleyne was shot to death in the pop star’s native Barbados on Tuesday, Dec. 26. The 29-year-old “Wild Thoughts” singer took to Instagram that same day to pay tribute.
“RIP cousin… can’t believe it was just last night that I held you in my arms!” she wrote alongside a slideshow featuring four photos of herself posing with Tavon. According to RiRi, she had recently spent time with Tavon while celebrating the holidays in Barbados.
“Never thought that would be the last time I felt the warmth in your body!!! Love you always man!” she continued, before calling for an end to gun violence with the following hashtag: “#endgunviolence.”
Local reports state that Tavon was walking near his home in Lake Close, Eden Lodge, St. Michael, close to 7 p.m. when a man shot him multiple times before running away from the scene. Tavon was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment, but he was later pronounced dead. Barbados police are currently investigating the fatal incident.
Rihanna and Tavon seemingly shared a close bond. Last February, Tavon wished his superstar cousin a happy birthday in a touching Instagram post the day she turned 29. "Every day we are happy to have you in our lives,” he wrote at the time. “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. #LoveYouLoads #wishyoumanymoretocome.”
Despite her massive success, Rihanna (whose real name is Robyn Fenty) has previously insisted that family will always come first — no matter how famous she is. During a 2012 interview on Oprah’s Next Chapter, the Grammy winner revealed how her loved ones keep her grounded. “They’re very supportive. They’re obviously very excited. It’s not that they’re completely unfazed by [my fame],” Rihanna said. “But they’re not affected by it.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with Rihanna and the rest of Tavon’s family at this time.