28/12/2017 1:15 AM AEDT

Rihanna Calls For An End To Gun Violence As She Posts Tribute To Her Cousin

'Rest up lil cuz.'

Rihanna has posted an emotional tribute to her cousin, after he was shot dead in her native Barbados on Boxing Day.

Sharing her shock at the news, having celebrated Christmas with him only a day earlier, she wrote: “RIP cousin... Can’t believe it was just last night that I held you in my arms!

“Never thought that would be the last time I felt the warmth in your body!!! Love you always man!”

She also took the opportunity to make a statement about gun violence, sharing the hashtag #EndGunViolence.

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

Rihanna didn’t name the victim herself, instead tagging his profile on her Instagram story with the message “rest up lil cuz”, while the Barbados radio station Nation News has named him as 21-year-old Tavon Kaiseen Alleyne.

They reported that the victim was shot several times while walking from his home on 26 December, before the unknown attacker fled the scene.

He is then thought to have died in hospital.

Police in Barbados have now launched an investigation, and are asking anyone with information to contact the District A Police Station or Crime Stoppers.

HuffPost UK has reached out to a representative for Rihanna for further comment.

The BBC has reported that gun crime is currently a prevalent topic in Barbados, where figures have shown that gun-related deaths are on the rise.

They added that as many as 22 out of 28 murders committed on the Caribbean island are gun-related, marking an increase in recent years.