UPDATE: Two arrested as boy, 12, killed by hit-and-run driver fleeing police (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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UPDATE: Two arrested as boy, 12, killed by hit-and-run driver fleeing police
A “devastated” family are in mourning after a 12-year-old boy was killed by a hit-and-run driver trying to escape from the police.
Bilal Raffey Khizar died when he was struck by a red Seat Ibiza as he crossed Rooley Lane next to the Asda superstore at about 7pm on Saturday.
As the officers from West Yorkshire Police got out of their vehicle and approached the Ibiza, it sped off, before fatally injuring Bilal, after officers had been in pursuit.
Two people have been arrested by officers, while the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has also begun an investigation into the incident. No details have been revealed about those arrested.
It is believed Bilal was heading home from a friend’s house on his scooter when he was hit by the Ibiza.
Today, hundreds of pupils at Bradford Academy attended a series of assemblies to remember him.
Pupils were also setting up a book of condolence to pay tribute to him who was in his second year at the school.
The school's executive principal, Gareth Dawkins, described Bilal as “a beautiful boy with a great sense of humour” and said it had been a privilege to have him at the academy.
Academy chaplain, the Reverend Rob Taylor, said Bilal was a “colourful character” who would be greatly missed.
Floral tributes also line the pavement near to the incident, while dozens of friends and families have been to Bilal’s family address in Spring Wood Gardens, West Bowling, to pay their respects.
Specialist officers were also speaking to the family, said Detective Superintendent Mark Ridley, of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, who is leading the investigation.
He called on witnesses to help “bring justice” for Bilal. “This is a tragedy for the family and they are absolutely devastated,” Det Supt Ridley said.
“Specially trained officers are currently working with them.
“I am appealing directly to anyone who saw the vehicle being driven or the incident to get in contact. I need the community to come forward and tell me what has happened and what they have seen to help bring justice to the family.”
He said inquiries remain at an early stage, but before sunset last night, eight officers were seen carrying out a meticulous search of the westbound carriageway of Rooley Lane, which was closed to traffic all day. More than 30 bunches of flowers were lined alongside a crash barrier as friends, many of them of a similar age to Bilal, paid their tributes.
One read: “Bilal, Rest in peace. You in a better place now. You’ll never be forgotten. From all friends and neighbours”.
Another, from Keira and Lea, said: “You will be sadly missed. I will always be thinking of you. You always made me laugh.”
A note on another bunch of flowers from Lauren Sykes said: “Rest in peace Bilal Khizar. You was such a bubbly boy who didn’t deserve to go. Gone but never forgotten. Sleep tight up there angel.”
Neighbours and friends at the scene described Bilal as a “beautiful young boy” who was always helpful and smiling. School friends said he was “funny, kind and caring” and was “really popular” at Bradford Academy.
Last night, the IPCC revealed the details of its investigation, which is being held because the fatal collision happened immediately after police contact and with officers in initial pursuit.
“West Yorkshire Police notified the IPCC of the incident on Saturday evening and an IPCC investigator was immediately deployed to begin an assessment,” an IPCC spokesman said.
“Initial police information indicates that officers in a marked police car stopped a red Seat Ibiza in a lay-by on Rooley Lane for a check, but the vehicle then drove off at speed.
“From police information, officers then attempted to pursue the Ibiza but lost sight of it and, after the suspect vehicle was involved in a further collision with other vehicles, it was later recovered in Wyke. The IPCC has deployed additional investigators to begin an independent investigation which will examine the initial stop of the Seat Ibiza by officers, their interaction with the occupants, and the ensuing attempted police pursuit.”
Any witnesses to the incident or who saw the red Seat Ibiza are asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.