Manchester shooting: Man killed at party previously lobbied MPs about youth violence

24 June 2020, 21:00

The shooting happened on Caythorpe Street in Moss Side, Manchester, on Sunday morning
The shooting happened on Caythorpe Street in Moss Side, Manchester, on Sunday morning. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A young man who was shot dead at an outdoor lockdown party in Manchester had previously lobbied MPs about youth violence.

Cheriff Tall, 21, was killed during a double-murder at a party that followed a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest nearby in Moss Side.

The "model son" was gunned down alongside 36-year-old Abayomi Ajose at around 1am on Sunday morning in Caythorpe Street.

Akemia Minott, a youth worker in Moss Side who knew Mr Tall, said he had recently lost a close friend in a violent attack and called for more funding to deal with youngsters suffering trauma.

"He's been to the Houses of Parliament with us, challenged MPs on what they're going to do about youth violence and how they are going to address situations which is obviously incredibly sad when you look at what's happened," she added.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and the police have stressed the party was not a "rave" after promising to crack down on such events during the coronavirus lockdown.

However, the gathering, which took place at a car park in the middle of a block of flats in the inner-city district, did have a DJ and a PA system.

Paying tribute to Mr Tall, his family said: "The death of someone so young, and barely into adulthood is difficult to process, and knowing that he was taken from us in such a brutal way has left us devastated.

"Cheriff was loved and respected by his brothers and sisters, and he loved and respected them and to say they are broken is an understatement.

"Cheriff loved his parents dearly, he was very close to his mother and it's impossible to say that she will ever recover from this senseless loss. He was a model son, they doted on him and they are overcome with grief.

"He had a strong sense of loyalty and would not turn his back on his family or friends and would always try to help anyone who needed it.

"Cheriff was a popular and well-liked member of the community and we as a family are grateful for the messages of condolence and support we have received.

"We have a long road ahead of us as we try to come to terms with the death of our son, and we would appreciate our privacy being respected at this time."

Police appealed for more information on Wednesday
Police appealed for more information on Wednesday. Picture: PA

Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) had sanctioned the Black Lives Matter protest earlier in the day, but the later gathering was "spontaneous", police said.

Residents complained about the noise and disturbance and police say they monitored the event but had no intelligence of any criminal activity and later decided it was "unachievable" to safely disperse.

Footage circulating on social media showed hundreds of people at the event and on Wednesday GMP made another appeal for information.

Sources suggested detectives on the double murder inquiry have had little response to appeals so far and Ms Minott said locals may be "frightened" of talking to police.

She added: "I understand it's difficult for this community, sometimes to talk directly to the police, but there's plenty of youth workers out here trying to work with young people and make things a little bit easier.

"And if young people want to talk to us and we know then what to do with that information that's OK. We do need people to help us though.

"They might be frightened to talk to the police just because of the historical relationship that communities like Moss Side have had with police but they wouldn't be frightened to talk to us."

The gathering took place at a car park in the middle of a block of flats
The gathering took place at a car park in the middle of a block of flats. Picture: PA

Inspector Simon Nasim of GMP said he could not give an update on the investigation but appealed again for witnesses to come forward.

He said: "The reason I am here is, it was a horrific incident that took place where two people tragically lost their lives and the community and family are grieving and we really need people to come forward.

"We can't solve this investigation on our own, we need the witnesses to step forward and give us that vital information.

"I can tell you officers are working tirelessly, it's a very fast-paced, moving investigation at the moment, but in terms of details, I can't go into the details of the investigation.

"Any information that could turn out to be vital, so if anyone was there at the event, they need to come forward and tell us what they can."

Anyone with information can upload it through the dedicated Major Incident Public Portal by clicking here.

You can also contact officers on 0161 856 9908, quoting incident number 221 of 21/06/2020, or file an anonymous report to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.