The father of one of three men killed during a second night of violence in Birmingham pleaded for calm and urged that no one carried out revenge attacks.
Tariq Jahan spoke emotionally of the need for calm just hours after the death of his 21-year-old son Haroon and brothers Shahzad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31, in the early hours of Wednesday.
They were knocked down by a car in Dudley Road, Winson Green, as they reportedly protected the community from looters.
A 32-year-old man last night remained in custody after being arrested on suspicion of murder.
Mr Jahan said the deaths of the three men should not be treated as a “race issue” and said his family had received messages of sympathy from every sector of the community.
“Today we stand here to plead with all the youth to remain calm, for our communities to stand united,” he said.
“I lost my son. Blacks, Asians, whites – we all live in the same community.
“Why do we have to kill one another? Why are we doing this? Step forward if you want to lose your sons. Otherwise, calm down and go home – please.”
Mr Jahan spoke at the end of an emotionally-charged day in Winson Green which saw senior police officers grilled over the looting crisis at an emergency meeting at Summerfield Community Centre, near the scene of the tragedy.
At times the meeting, chaired by Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood, threatened to boil over with furious members of the community competing to have their voices heard and dozens more people waiting outside.
Chief Insp Sean Russell told the gathering that the investigation was the “highest priority” for West Midlands Police and would “remain so until we get justice for you”.
He said 60 staff were working on the case but urged restraint, telling the audience: “Protect your property but within the law.
“Our message to the community is to stay at home and allow us to police with your support.
“Tell us what’s occurring, tell us where youths are congregating and how many there are, and we will deal with it.
“I would urge for calm and give us the opportunity to investigate.”
Mr Russell said 40 police support units, double the amount deployed on Tuesday, were due to patrol the city last night in response to the murders.
But many at the meeting, including resident Mohammed Nawaz, questioned why the force had not freed up such resources sooner.
Mr Russell said: “We policed it with a response that was proportionate and right.
“We thought we had it about right.
“I would never have expected to be stood here with three members of our community killed. We did not expect that level of violence.”
There was also criticism of the police for allegedly reacting slowly to 999 calls reporting the fatal incident and for sending riot vans rather than an ambulance.
“Could we have got there quicker with nothing else going on in the world? We probably could have done,” Mr Russell conceded.
“Riot-trained police arrived because they had just been deployed in the city centre. They were not there to respond to the people in the community.
“My officers acted professionally and we had sufficient staff to deal with lots of incidents.”
Anyone with information about the incident should call West Midlands Police on 0345 113 5000.