Four people have been arrested on suspicion of child neglect after a six-year-old boy died in an eight-storey fall from a tower block.
The boy, named by West Yorkshire Police as Liam Adam Shackleton, fell from the window of a flat at Lindsey Mount in Leeds yesterday.
Shocked neighbours laid a teddy bear and flowers today close to the spot where the child hit the ground.
Page 2: 13:49Maria Jordan, 50, who lives nearby on the large Lincoln Estate, said it was a heartbreaking tragedy.
Mrs Jordan, who has two grandchildren aged four and seven, wept as she said: “My neighbour knocked on my door and told me a little boy had fallen to the ground.
“I don’t know the family but it breaks my heart thinking about that poor kiddie.
“If I lived that far up I wouldn’t let my grandchildren anywhere near the windows.”
Father of three Mohammad Kulan, 42, a security guard, saw the aftermath of the tragedy from his house opposite Lindsey Mount.
“I looked out of the window when I heard the police sirens and there was a lot of people gathered in the gardens,” he said.
“Paramedics were tending to the boy but I don’t think there was much they could do.
“It’s very sad. Everybody I’ve seen today has said what a terrible thing it was.”
On pink notepaper attached to a teddy bear, a message from Mama and Julie read: “Such a shame, such a young age and to be taken like that.
“Dear Father in Heaven, dear Father above, please guide and protect the ones that we love and guide them from danger. Guide them from fear for this child is so dear.”
Another card said: “Sweet dreams little one love Jennifer, Paula and Mike.”
A third card was written to a “very brave and well-behaved little boy”.
West Yorkshire Police were called at about 5.15pm yesterday.
Liam was taken to Leeds General Infirmary but died a short time later.
A police spokesman said: “Four people have been arrested on suspicion of child neglect following the death of a six-year-old boy who fell from a block of flats.
“Two males, aged 57 and 36, and a 28-year-old female remain in police custody along with a 16-year-old female who was also arrested in connection with the same incident.”
Page 3: 15:21It is understood Liam’s grandparents are the flat’s tenants.
The youngster moved in there only recently along with his parents, Martin and Tanya, and two brothers and sister.
Speaking to ITV News, devastated Mr Shackleton said: “He had ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and was hyperactive.
“I’m in bits. I heard the news yesterday teatime and I’ve been in a right state ever since.”
Police have not confirmed whether Mrs Shackleton, or the grandparents, are among those being questioned.
Jane Warden, 51, a care worker, said she saw Liam on the ground after he fell.
She said: “He was lying, face up, with his little arms and legs all twisted.
“There was no blood but his breathing was very shallow and his lips were blue.
“I knew then he was gone, no little kiddie could survive something like that.
“Around 10 people had gathered around and someone put a blanket over Liam until the paramedic arrived.
“He gently scooped Liam up into his arms and put him in the ambulance.”
Miss Warden said she often saw the family at a shopping precinct in the centre of the estate.
“The kids were always very well-behaved, and usually had a sweetie or a lollipop in their hand,” she said.
“Their parents must be heartbroken.
“Last night I went home and hugged my granddaughter - she’s the same age as Liam - and I wouldn’t let her go.”
Other neighbours described Mr Shackleton as a “grafter”, saying he always worked hard to feed his family.