Family tribute amid soldier probe
Published 24/05/2013 | 16:09
The family of murdered soldier Lee Rigby have paid tribute to him as detectives continued a rapidly developing investigation into his barbaric killing.
Relatives of Drummer Rigby, 25, described their pride in the young father, who was brutally hacked to death near Woolwich barracks in south east London on Wednesday.
They spoke for the first time as detectives continued to question a 29-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, and two other men who were shot by police after charging towards armed officers remained in hospital.
Two women - aged 29 and 31 - have both been released without charge after they were held on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.
Speaking earlier at the regimental HQ of Drummer Rigby's unit, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, in Bury, Greater Manchester, his stepfather Ian read a statement from the family. He said: "What can we say about Lee, our hero? We are so so proud of Lee. When Lee was born the family adored him, he was a precious gift given to us. Lee's dream growing up was always to join the army, which he succeeded in doing. He was dedicated and loved his job."
Drummer Rigby's wife Rebecca, mother to their two-year-old son Jack, said through tears that he was "a devoted father".
Searches continued on Friday at various addresses - three in south London, one in east London, one in north London and one in Saxilby, Lincolnshire, the former home of a man called Michael Adebolajo. The second suspected attacker has been named in reports as Michael Oluwatobi Adebowale, of Greenwich, south east London.
Drummer Rigby was hit by a car and then attacked with weapons including a knife and a meat cleaver. He has been formally identified but the cause of his death was not confirmed by a post-mortem examination. An inquest will be opened in due course, Scotland Yard said.
A steady stream of wellwishers continued to lay flowers near the scene of the murder, with bouquets numbering in their thousands. Many carried cards and messages, while a Union flag was tied to railings with the message: "You lived a hero and died at the hands of two cowards," written across it. A red Manchester United flag was also left along with dozens of candles, balloons and soft toys. Among those coming to pay their respects was British National Party leader Nick Griffin, who claimed he had come for personal rather than political reasons.
Meanwhile, two men are due to appear in court charged with racially aggravated threatening behaviour over an incident in an east London fast food restaurant on Thursday. Labourer Toni Latcal, 32, and plasterer Eugen-Aurelian Eugen-Beredei, 34, both from London, were arrested following the incident at 9.15pm on Thursday. Latcal was charged with racially aggravated threatening behaviour and causing criminal damage, while Eugen-Beredei was charged with racially aggravated threatening behaviour. Both remain in custody and will appear at Thames Magistrates Court.