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Second man arrested in stab inquiry

A second man has been arrested in connection with the death of a teenage rapper who was stabbed after attending a fundraising event for a friend who was knifed last year.

West Midlands Police said an 18-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the death of Joshua Ribera after he attended Bloxwich police station in Walsall, West Midlands, on Sunday afternoon.

Detectives are continuing to question a second man, also aged 18, who was arrested on Saturday in connection with the fatal stabbing after he attended Dudley police station.

Joshua Ribera, known as Depzman, was stabbed on Friday night after a fundraiser at a club called TCs in the Selly Oak area of Birmingham. The event was being held to raise money for a headstone for the grave of 16-year-old Kyle Sheehan, who was knifed exactly a year ago.

Joshua was taken to hospital but died in the early hours of Saturday. Post-mortem tests revealed he died from a stab wound to the heart, West Midlands Police said.

The 18-year-old, from Moseley, Birmingham, was an emerging talent in the rap and grime scene. Artists including Wretch 32 and Frisco took to Twitter to pay tribute after news of Joshua's death emerged and a Facebook group, RIP Depzman, has already attracted more than 50,000 likes.

Detective Inspector Gary Plant, from force CID, said: "There were a lot of people in attendance at the fundraising event and we know that Joshua was a very popular person and a well-known rising musical star. I would appeal for anyone who knows anything to come forward. There are still a number of people who haven't been spoken to by police.

"A lot of Joshua's friends were at the function and may have vital information about what happened and we urge them to come forward."

Joshua's mother Alison Cope wrote on her Facebook page: "Today the most beautiful son a mum could ask for has been taken from me. All who know me know he was my world, my everything.

"I loved him with every bit of my heart and my heart is now broken. He was kind, caring, funny, affectionate, beautiful and talented. He was stabbed in the heart and they tried for six hours to save him but he needed to go. He is now in peace and no one can ever hurt him again. I love you Josh and I don't know how I can go on without my baby boy xxx"


From Belfast Telegraph