January 30, 2023

The family of Rebecca Ikumelo, who died after falling in love during a concert in Brixton at O2 Academy Brixton, has paid tribute to the mother-of-two for her “care, kindness and love”.

In a statement released by the Metropolitan Police, her family said: “Rebecca was a nursing graduate. She was an adorable mother of two who loved working with children.

“She was well respected in the family for her care, kindness and love. Her parents call her Tosin (short for Oluwatosin) which means ‘lord is worthy’.”

Ikumelo, 33, from Newham, east London, was one of three people seriously injured on Thursday after fans tried to gain ticketless access to a show by Nigerian artist Asake at the south London venue.

Another family member, Temiope Olodo, wrote on Twitter: “My favorite niece, Rebecca Ikumelo, passed away today due to injuries sustained by @asakemusic Concert.

“This is a great loss for the Olodo and Ikumelo family. I can’t hold back my tears.”

Author Toni Tone also paid tribute to Ikumelo saying, “She was a beautiful woman who exuded positive energy and was committed to being the best version of herself for her children. She has also done so much to raise awareness of autism spectrum disorder.

The Metropolitan Police released a photo of Ikumelo after her death in hospital on Saturday.

An autopsy will take place on Sunday.

Two other women, ages 21 and 23, who were also at the concert on Thursday, remain in critical condition.

Asake said he was “devastated” and “overwhelmed with grief” by her death. “My sincere condolences to her loved ones at this time. Please let us remember her family in our prayers. I have spoken to them and will continue to do so,” he said.

“My team and I are still awaiting full debriefing from site management and police to determine exactly what led to all the disruptions and ultimately Rebecca’s death.

“If you have any relevant information on this, please contact the Metropolitan Police.”

Florence Eshalomi, Labor MP for Vauxhall, said: “I visited the site again this morning and I’ve been dreading this news since the incident, hoping it never came.

“This is such a tragic loss of a young 33 year old with so much life ahead of her, and my thoughts and prayers for Rebecca Ikumelo’s family and friends.

“There are clearly a lot of questions about how this could have happened and it is important that these are thoroughly investigated by the authorities. I will remain in regular contact with the police and Lambeth council as this situation unfolds.

On Friday, Ch Supt Colin Wingrove, the Chief of Police for Lambeth and Southwark, said: “I would like to express my condolences to all those affected. After seeing some of the really disturbing images on social media, our thoughts are with them.

“An urgent investigation is currently underway, led by detectives from our specialist crime squad, and cordons remain as officers continue to work on the scene.

“This is still a fast-moving and evolving picture and we are working to establish the events leading up to the incident.

“We are also aware of a huge amount of footage on social media and this will of course be examined as part of the investigation, along with footage from officers’ body-worn video cameras.”

He said police had set up an online page for submitting photos and videos, and urged anyone with information to come forward.

Asake gig in Brixton cut short after suspected crowds – video report

The O2 Academy Brixton said in a statement on Twitter: “All at O2 Academy Brixton and Academy Music Group are deeply saddened by the news of the tragic death of Rebecca Ikumelo.

“We extend our sincere condolences to Rebecca’s family and friends, and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this devastating news at this extremely difficult time.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Saturday: “I am heartbroken by the tragic death of Rebecca Ikumelo, who passed away with great sadness following the horrific events in Brixton on Thursday night.

“Rebecca had her whole life ahead of her and on behalf of all Londoners I would like to express my condolences to her family, friends and loved ones at this extremely difficult time.

“My thoughts remain with everyone affected by this terrible incident. It is vital that the investigation into what happened is completed as soon as possible. City Hall is in contact with venues and authorities across London to ensure nothing like this happens again.”

The Met launched an investigation on Friday into what it said was an “extremely disturbing” incident.

Police found a number of people with “injuries believed to have been caused by crushing” after being called to the site around 9:35 p.m. Thursday.

Asake, whose real name is Ahmed Ololade, was recently nominated for BBC Radio 1’s Sound of 2023 award, for artists breaking through in the UK.

He had posted on Twitter before the performance asking fans not to come to the venue unless they had a valid ticket.

The concert was the third of three sold-out dates at the 4,921 capacity venue and capped off a run of UK dates.

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