Keelan Wilson: Gang members who killed my boy now boast about it online, says mum

By Jordan Reynolds | Wolverhampton | Crime | Published:

It is one year to the day since 15-year-old Keelan Wilson was stabbed to death just yards from his home in Wolverhampton.

Kelly Ellitts has spoken out one year on from the death of her son Keelan, inset

His killers are still at large and his mother believes some of his attackers were gang members – and that music videos have since been posted online about his killing.

Keelan was ambushed while he was tending to a broken-down car at around 11pm on May 29, 2018.

Police were called to reports of a group of youths fighting in Langley Road and Keelan was taken to hospital with serious injuries, but was confirmed dead a short time later. A post-mortem confirmed he died from stab wounds.

Keelan and Kelly. Keelan was 15 when he died

The attack happened in the quiet residential area of Merry Hill in Wolverhampton, close to a rank of shops and a respected secondary school.

Strathfield Walk became the latest murder scene, his killing thought to be linked to gangs that operate across the city.

Over the last 12 months nine teenagers have been arrested but no charges have been made over the teenager’s murder.

A school shirt left in tribute to Keelan after his death


Kelly Ellitts insists her son was not a member of a gang and had been living out of the Black Country for months before his death. But those who killed him were, and she blames jealousy and hatred for the attack that killed him.

Return to city ends in tragedy

Ms Ellitts said she has seen YouTube videos of people mocking Keelan’s death, and that she hopes there will be progress with his case soon.

She said: “I do believe that some of them were gang members. Everybody knows Keelan wasn’t living in Wolverhampton for a year before his death.


“Keelan came back to Wolverhampton for a few days before his death as we were going on holiday and he had appointments there.

“I think a lot of people were jealous of Keelan. He was mine and his father’s first child so we spoilt him, he had the best of everything.

Keelan's father Gary Wilson

“I think his attackers grew up differently to him and there was a lot of jealousy.

“The world has gone crazy – if people don’t like something this is what they do.

“I feel like some carry knives and guns because they can’t look after themselves, it’s so scary and I don’t think it’s going to get better.

“I feel like the police can’t deal with the amount of crime at the moment.”

A school photo of Keelan

Gang members are often young teenagers and they measure their territory by postcode. They carry weapons and use them almost casually, often with devastating effect.

In Wolverhampton, where Keelan was killed, children as young as 13 are walking the streets with knives and guns, police revealed today.

Over the past five years new youth gangs have formed and now the city has four “established youth-type gangs”, according to neighbourhood policing inspector, Steve Worker.


Ms Ellitts said she thinks killing is “glorified” in the Black Country.

“I’m hoping in the next few weeks Keelan’s case is going to move forward, I can’t carry on like this,” she added.

“When you kill somebody it’s glorified. They think it’s a good thing, but at some point they’re going to have children and they’re not making the world a better place – they’re making it worse. It’s immature.

An event was held to mark what would have been Keelan's 16th birthday in July

“I think some parents know what’s going on and they want their children walking around with knives and guns as they want to feel like they can protect themselves and some other parents haven’t got a clue.

“The last 12 months for me has been a whirlwind, it’s still a shock that he’s not here.

“Over the last few days I’ve been thinking just this time last year he was still here with me. I can get myself in such a state.

“To me an anniversary is a celebration, so I don’t think of it as that. I’m going to put flowers down and go back to where it happened and it will be a terrible day.

“This would have been very different if he hadn’t come back to Wolverhampton, but I didn’t think for one minute there were people out there who hated my son to this extent.”

Point scoring

Ms Ellitts revealed Keelan’s death has since been referred to on social media and that some of the posts are boastful.

She says those who have carried out the crime feel is strengthens their position is a world where image and ‘face’ is everything.

“The attackers are trying to score points, people have made songs about him on YouTube,” she said.

“I’ve sent links to the police and reported it and it hasn’t been taken down.

“Keelan was executed, it was a vicious attack they had planned. That’s bad enough, without putting songs on the internet.

“Obviously nothing is bringing Keelan back. I feel them going to prison is glorifying them and giving them a reputation, but I would like to see them locked up.”

Police: We need to ensure justice prevails

So far, nine teenagers have been arrested in connection with his murder and released under investigation as enquiries continue.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Mallett, from the force's homicide team, said: "It is exactly a year on from Keelan's tragic death and we are just as determined now, as we were then, to get justice for his family.

"This is a complex investigation and there is ongoing work which is not always visible to the public.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Mallett

"However, we continue to need your help in catching Keelan's killer or killers. I appreciate there may have been people who didn't feel they could speak to officers at the time due to a sense of misguided loyalty.

"But this a 15-year-old boy, who had his life ahead of him, who has been taken away at the hands of a knife and we need to ensure justice prevails. Any piece of information, however insignificant you feel it is, could be crucial in cracking the case."

Anyone with any information should call police on 101. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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