The mother of one of the teenagers whose deaths in a road accident sparked a riot begged the yobs to stop their violence – as her son’s body lay in the street where he died.
Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and 15-year-old Harvey Evans were killed in the Ely area of Cardiff while riding an electric bike.
Some residents in the district claimed the two boys, who were named locally, were being pursued by South Wales Police – an allegation denied by the force.
They said the collision had already occurred when officers arrived, and they remained on the scene to manage “large-scale disorder” until the early hours of Tuesday morning.
At around midnight Belinda Sullivan, Kyrees’s mother, pleaded with the rioters to stop because her son’s body remained at the scene of the collision.
“I’m sat at home heart broken.
“There are two families broken right now I just want to see my son and I can’t because of this riot that has happened.
“Please I beg you all to stop and let my son be moved to hospital so I can see him we need to see our sons.”
Friends of the two boys, who were from the Ely area, said they were riding a Sur-Ron electric bike without helmets when they died.
They said their families were desperate for further information from the police about what happened.
“The police are not telling her where her boy is – she has been waiting all night and morning,” she said.
“They are not telling them – they are waiting for the family liaison officer. It was 2.40am when her boy’s body got moved from there. I’ve just left her house now.
“There’s no support. They are on the phone but there is no support on the ground – all this is going on and they are nowhere.”
Ms Bool claimed the fatal crash occurred because “they were being chased by the police”.
“I know they were being chased by the police as there are videos going around that the police were chasing them,” she said.
“They didn’t have helmets on and there was no reason for them to be chased.
“Harvey had just eaten his tea and had left his mum’s. He had been at home all day with his mum, and he went with his friend, and this happened.”
“He was best friends with Kyrees and they were into the same things. It was not unusual for them to be together.”
The South Wales force said arrests have been made but did not say how many.
Specially trained public order officers were deployed, including officers from neighbouring police forces, as several vehicles were set alight, property was damaged and officers were injured.
Scenes being livestreamed on YouTube showed young people throwing fireworks and other missiles at a line of police officers with riot shields who were blocking one end of the street.
Shortly before midnight a car was set on fire and burned fiercely, while a second vehicle was overturned and also torched.
Jane Palmer, the owner of a burnt-out Ford Focus on Highmead Road, said she and her family watched from their window as rioters set fire to her car.
Ms Palmer said: “I’m disabled so now I’m trapped without my car. Why are they doing this? It’s just silly now.”
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Travis said: “First and foremost our thoughts are with the families of the two boys who have died following the collision in Ely and with those affected by the disorder which followed.
“These are scenes we do not expect to see in our communities, particularly a close-knit community such as Ely.
“The level of violence towards emergency services and the damage to property and vehicles was totally unacceptable.”
The riot was condemned by various politicians from across the political spectrum.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The reports of disorder, violence, arson and specifically attacks on police officers are appalling and unacceptable.
“We remain grateful to the emergency services and first responders for all their support to the community and restoring order.”
Alun Michael, South Wales police and crime commissioner, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It would appear that there were rumours, and those rumours became rife, of a police chase, which wasn’t the case.
Heledd Fychan, who represents the South Wales Central region for Plaid Cymru, said: “There must now be a full investigation to understand how this tragic incident led to the violence that followed to ensure peace is restored and that this never happens again.”
Cardiff Council’s leader called for calm and said it is “really important” a full investigation into the crash can take place immediately.
Councillor Huw Thomas said: “This is a tragic event and they, and we, need to understand what happened and why.”
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said there is “no excuse” for the disorder that unfolded and said it was “deeply concerning”.