The news bulletin told of a man killed on a Hackney street, among shoppers on a Saturday afternoon. I placed it elsewhere in the borough. My part’s been gentrified: Chatsworth Road has its Sunday market, its bistros, its delicatessens.
I was wrong.
Moses Fadairo was walking Chatsworth Road at 1.15 on Saturday 26th September 2015. Three men approached and shot him in the chest. He staggered into my local butcher’s and then on for fifty metres down the street where he died.
On the Monday the butcher was outside his shop. ‘The ambulance came but the boy was dead,’ he told a customer.
It’s hard to process such things. The next Saturday afternoon I walked the street and noted how quiet it was. Around the corner flowers climbed six feet up a lamppost, where balloons were tied beside a picture of Moses. He was a 27 year-old father of new twins. Candles flickered as part of the lamppost shrine. Among metres of bouquets, three teddy bears carried red hearts.
Friends and family gathered around the lamppost the night after his shooting. ‘We will still speak to him every day,’ his sister said. ‘He knows what is in our hearts as he can see us. He was a lovely boy. He didn’t deserve this.’
Two weeks on, dead bouquets were bundled into bins and some fresh ones tied in their place.
This is the last of a ‘Missing Bodies’ series you will find on this site: ten photos & short essays on ways of grieving, conceived as part of the Crossing Over research network. Find links to the other nine below.