The family of a teenager stabbed to death in broad daylight have spoken of their “unbearable pain” following the tragedy.
Rayon Pennycook, 16, was killed in Corby, Northamptonshire on Tuesday.
Three male teenagers – aged 17, 17 and 15 – have been arrested on suspicion of his murder and remain in custody, police said.
Rayon’s death has torn a hole in the local community, with flowers and messages left at the scene on Constable Road.
A family tribute released through Northamptonshire Police said the victim was in the process of applying for an apprenticeship.
“Rayon’s death has left us feeling devastated,” relatives said.
“In fact, there are no words which can accurately describe the pain we are suffering. It is unbearable.
“He was just a boy – a 16-year-old boy with his whole life ahead of him.
“He had hopes, dreams and aspirations, and was in the process of applying for an apprenticeship, which would have seen him start the next chapter of his young life.
“Rayon is not a statistic and he will not be remembered as such – he was a unique human being with a beating heart who was loved so dearly by his mum, dad, siblings, niece, nephew and friends.
“Rayon had a big heart and made it clear every day how much he loved us all.
“We are all living through the worst days of our lives and our hearts are utterly broken.
“Rayon – we are so proud of you and we will miss you always.”
Kerry Prior, interim school leader at Corby Business Academy, where Rayon was a pupil, added: “We are extremely sad to hear of the passing of one of our Year 11 students, Rayon Pennycook.
“Rayon Pennycook was a bright, kind-hearted and creative young man who built strong relationships with many members of our student community and teachers at Corby Business Academy.
“This tragic news will come as a shock to many people across the school community and Rayon will be greatly missed.
“We understand that this will be upsetting news for our school community, particularly those who were close to Rayon, and will be offering counselling and well-being support via our own counsellors and the local authority to all members of our school community.”
Police have said they believe the incident was “isolated” but pledged to put more officers on patrol in the aftermath.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, DCI Gan Thayanithy said: “As far as we know no one else was injured in the fight.
“It is vital that if anyone has got footage of this incident that we receive that so we can piece together what happened and to give Rayon’s family justice.
“It’s too early to say at this time if we have recovered any weapons, I’m not going to speculate on any details.
“I cannot speculate on the nature of the injuries suffered.
“The three people weren’t arrested here, they were arrested very shortly afterwards, and it’s too early to say if we are currently looking for anyone else.
“What triggered the fight is still being investigated and we don’t currently understand the motivation so if anybody does have that information please do get in contact with us.”