06 July 2023

Thousands gather for funeral of teenagers whose deaths sparked riot

06 July 2023

Thousands of people have gathered for the funeral of two teenagers whose deaths sparked a riot in Cardiff.

A joint service for best friends Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15, began at the Church of the Resurrection on Grand Avenue in Ely just after 1pm on Thursday.

It followed a procession of two limousines, four hearses and eight white Rolls-Royce cars along with around a dozen motorbikes arranged by the boys‘ friends.

Kyrees and Harvey died on the evening of Monday May 22 when they crashed on a Sur-Ron bike minutes after CCTV captured them being followed by a police van.

The tragedy sparked hours of disorder in the city suburb which included violent clashes with police and damage to property.

Due to an ongoing investigation by the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) into the actions of South Wales Police, the funeral on Thursday is being managed by Cardiff Council.

Around 1,200 people were permitted inside the church and over a 1,000 stood outside in the churchyard and street where the service was broadcast to crowds via a large screen and sound system.

Many wore blue clothing as requested by the family, and a blue carpet lined the path from the road to the church entrance.

Road closures had been placed around the area by Cardiff Council from 12-2pm and local schools closed for the day due to the numbers expected to attend.

Just before the service, a light aircraft circled the sky towing a sign that read RIP Kyrees And Harvey Young Kings.

The four hearses carried individual floral tributes which read Harvey, Kyrees and Best, Friends and those gathered outside clapped as the cars carrying close family passed by.

A number of people became emotional as the two coffins were carried into the church by family members to All My Life by American rappers Lil Durk ft. J. Cole was played.

The hymn All Things Bright And Beautiful was sung by the congregation before a reading and members of both families shared memories of the boys.

The Reverend Canon Jan Gould, who led the service, preached about Jesus stilling the storm.

Prior to the funeral she said: “I’m going to be talking about how grief can sometimes feel like a storm that’s overwhelming and we don’t know how to feel.

“We can have all kinds of feelings that we can’t manage and I’m going to be encouraging them to reach out for that peace that Jesus brought when he stilled the storm and that he longs to still the storms of our lives.”

Following prayers the service ended with I’ll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans ft. 112.

The pair will be laid to rest in Western Cemetery at 2.30pm.

In an unusual but poignant move the boys, who had been inseparable since meeting in nursery school, will be interred in the same grave.

A wake is to be held afterwards at Cardiff City Stadium.

Canon Gould, of the Llandaff Diocese, said: “It’s important for the family especially, but actually for the whole community have some closure now and to begin to move on.

“My hope is that moving on from this now the community can begin to rebuild.

“And hopefully the families will find some peace from the service.”

The Canon said since the deaths and the riot the church has remained open all day to allow people to come and light a candle and talk about Kyrees and Harvey.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox