- (Reuters/David Jones)
Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, visited the Summerfield Community Centre on Aug. 19, near where three men were killed during last week’s Birmingham riots.
William and Kate talked to local residents, emergency services, and community group representatives at the center located in Winson Green, Birmingham.
A nurse manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Mandy Sankey, told The Daily Mail that William and Kate appeared “genuinely interested” in how the hospitals had been dealing with the disorder.
Sankey said that the prince told her, "We're sure you have already heard how grateful we are but we wanted to come here to say thank you in person."
A nurse at Birmingham’s City Hospital reported that Kate stated, “It must have been really hard to keep the services going.”
The couple was welcomed outside Summerfield Community Centre by Paul Sabapathy, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, Councilor Anita Ward, the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, and Chris Sims, chief constable of West Midlands Police.
The center was situated a close distance to Dudley Road where three men trying to protect community shops and homes from raiders were struck down and killed by a car.
Prince William and Kate reportedly spent 15 minutes privately talking with the bereaved families, The Daily Mail reported.
Haroon Jahan, 21, and two brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31, were killed early Wednesday morning on Aug. 10.
Witnesses told the Telegraph that a speeding car, carrying about three passengers, hit the three men at around 50 mph and did not stop.
Haroon’s father said his son was trying to help the community. “I don't know why innocent people have to die,” he said.
The Mirror also reported that Abdul and Shazad’s cousin called the men “community heroes.”
Around 20,000 people gathered at Summerfield Park in Birmingham for the open-air funeral service for Haroon, Shazad, and Abdul on Aug. 18.
Their hearses were adorned with flowers spelling out the word “shaheed,” an Arabic term meaning “holy martyr.”
Screens were set up and displayed a message that read: “Three precious souls gave their lives protecting all of us.”
People from various faiths and ethnicities gathered to pay tribute to the three men who lost their lives trying to project their community and to honor the requests for unity and peace made by the families of the men.