Michael Rainsford, 20, was hit by two bullets while in standing in the kitchen of his home in Litherland, Merseyside, just after 11pm on Tuesday
A father has described how he held his dying son in his arms after he was shot through the kitchen window of their family home.
Michael Rainsford, 20, was hit by two bullets while in standing in the kitchen of his home in Litherland, Merseyside, just after 11pm on Tuesday.
The talented skateboarder was a ‘warm, friendly and handsome’ son who devotedly cared for his disabled mum, his heartbroken family said.
Michael’s dad, also called Michael, said his son was never in trouble with police and wasn’t a stereotypical ‘lovable rogue.’
In an emotional and wide-ranging tribute, Mr Rainsford, 53, told how the part-time landscape worker looked after his mum Joanne, 43, who suffers from DiGeorge Syndrome and a form of psychosis.
He said Michael loved fish, and was in the middle of building a pond in the back garden of the Harrington Road where he was shot.
Michael almost won a prestigious skateboarding trophy in 2013, coming second to an Olympic athlete during the competition at the O2 Arena in London.
Described as a shy and introverted boy during his childhood, he turned semi-professional in the sport aged 13 and was a regular at the Rampwork indoor park in nearby Aintree.
The talented skateboarder was a ‘warm, friendly and handsome’ son who devotedly cared for his disabled mum, his heartbroken family said
Speaking for the first time about Tuesday night’s tragedy, Mr Rainsford Snr said: ‘Mikey was a warm, friendly, handsome young man.
‘The pain and loss we are all feeling is unbearable. We will never get over this senseless loss of Mikey.
‘You will find this is a completely needless death. It’s pointless and ridiculous, not a tit-for-tat-type incident.
‘Mikey was not involved in anything…it will all come out. We are devastated and heartbroken.
‘He was a lovely young lad, who loved his friends and family, who loved him too. He wasn’t a lovable rogue – he was a normal young man.
‘We are only a small family and can’t comprehend why such a thing has happened.’
Speaking for the first time about Tuesday night’s tragedy, Mr Rainsford Snr said: ‘The pain and loss we are all feeling is unbearable. We will never get over this senseless loss of Mikey’
The current coronavirus lockdown, Mr Rainsford explained, was making the grieving process much harder.
Michael’s gran, aged 85 and living on her own, was told the news her grandson had died through a window, with ‘nobody to hug her’.
Describing the moment his son was shot, Mr Rainsford Snr said: ‘When it happened, we were all in the house. I was standing next to Mikey, when the shots came through the window.
‘I was going to take him to his girlfriend’s house, he was getting food to bring to hers, coke and biscuits.
Michael’s gran, aged 85 and living on her own, was told the news her grandson had died through a window, with ‘nobody to hug her’
‘I heard two huge sonic bangs, I’ve never heard a sound like it before. Mikey ran past me through to the hall, we shut all the doors.
‘I ran to get the phone. Mikey slumped to the floor, he just died there. His face just drained.
‘His younger brother Joshua ran upstairs and got another phone and had a towel, too. He was amazing. Joshua was calmer than I was.
‘He helped me do CPR as we tried to keep Mikey alive. I think he was shot in the front and as he tried to run off, he was shot in the back.
‘We told Jess and Joanne to stay upstairs as they’ve got major health problems. When the paramedics arrived, Mikey was taken away very quickly.’
Mr Rainsford Snr, a dad-of-seven, is himself a full-time carer for Joanne and has heart and lung difficulties.
Tributes have been pouring in for the ‘nice kid’ and many have left flowers and messages near his home in the north end of Liverpool
Mr Rainsford Snr said: ‘We have got friends and family who want to hug and hold us, and speak to us about Mikey, but they can’t.
‘We are standing at windows, it’s ridiculous. But it’s the current situation we are in, and we have to abide by it.’
Michael also leaves behind his sister Jess, 22, who herself has complex disabilities, and his younger 16-year-old brother, Joshua, who all lived together.
He also had a sister Abigail, who died at the age of two following compilations from an operation.
Two boys, both aged 17, have been arrested on suspicion of Michael’s murder. A 22-year-old man, held on the same charge, was released on bail
Former teachers from Litherland High School have contacted the Rainsford family to offer their fond memories of their past pupil, and it is understood they are planning their own tribute in the future.
The student, who loved visiting holiday parks in Devon with his family, also attended Hugh Baird College where he studied car mechanics.
Mr Rainsford Snr said: ‘Michael had a huge circle of friends, who are devastated by his murder and they are all reaching out to me and the family to offer support, and we are all comforted Mikey was loved by so many friends.’
Some of them rushed to the Sefton address immediately when news of the murder broke, and were seen shedding tears and shouting of their grief in the street.
Murder squad detectives are urging the public to contact Merseyside Police to help solve the ‘tragic and violent’ crime
Lily Blake, Mikey’s girlfriend of three years, added: ‘I have so many lovely memories of Mikey. I love him so much, and always will.
‘When I was ill, he was always there for me. We had so many plans for the future which I will try to do in Mikey’s memory.
‘I will always love you, Mikey, my handsome man.’
Two boys, both aged 17, from Kirkby and Netherton, have been arrested on suspicion of Michael’s murder.
A 22-year-old man from Seaforth, held on the same charge, was released on bail.
Murder squad detectives are urging the public to contact Merseyside Police to help solve the ‘tragic and violent’ crime.
Contact police on Twitter, with any information at @MerPolCC, quoting ref. 20000205585 or @CrimestoppersUK, ring 101, or telephone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.