Detectives investigating a shocking double murder during a lockdown party in Moss Side have released mobile phone footage which may capture the start of a row that ended with two shot dead.
Police believe Cheriff Tall, 21, was shot first when a row suddenly erupted with the gunman – and moments later father-of-three Abayomi ‘Junior’ Ajose, 36, a support worker, was also gunned down after he stepped in to help. Both men were shot in the head during a lockdown party held in a car park off Caythorpe Street, Moss Side, in the early hours of June 21, 2020.
After the second anniversary of the shootings, detectives have released mobile phone footage from the party, which was against lockdown rules at the time. It shows the car park was packed full of people, including one who was playing music for the crowd.
READ MORE: Two years ago, a gunman shot two young men in the head – he remains on the run
Towards the end of the 39 second clip, one person can be heard repeatedly shouting ‘Cherry’, which was Cheriff Tall’s nickname. Detectives, who have other footage from the event, say the atmosphere appears to change at this stage.
They believe the audio from the clip may be the start of a dispute between people who cannot be seen in the video, a row that ended with Cheriff and Abayomi being shot in the head. They were taken to hospital but their deaths were confirmed when they arrived.
The name of the suspect, believed to be from Birmingham, was very quickly known by police and the community of Moss Side but he has so far managed to evade capture despite a series of raids, many of them in the Midlands.. Detectives suspect he may now have fled the country.
About 400 people attended the party and detectives say they have traveled the length and breadth of the country to speak to people they have identified as being present. More than 50 mobile phones have been seized and forensically examined and hundreds of hours of footage have been viewed. Three gunshot cartridges were found at the scene.
The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Neil Higginson, said: “There were hundreds of people present in the car park on that evening and I really do believe there are people who were there that could help us to finally solve this case and bring closure to the families of the victims.
“Today we have released some unseen footage from the night, which was taken from one of the seized mobile phones. It doesn’t show much, but I’m hoping that it brings the event to the forefront of the minds of those who attended.
“Please, if you know anything at all, get in touch, we are so close to solving this case and the families have waited too long now, we need to get this person located and in prison as soon as possible.
“On today’s anniversary we will also be releasing video appeals from the family members of Junior and Cheriff who are desperate to get justice for their loved ones.”
To mark the anniversary, Abayomi’s widow has spoken movingly about how the party-loving family man was always ‘happy and laughing and dancing’ while Cheriff’s father urged anyone with information – particularly video from the event – to come forward to help nail the ‘dangerous ‘ gunman who said he may have killed before and, unless he is caught, could do so again.
Abayomi’s wife Lola said: “It’s affected us in every way, not for the good, especially with the children. Every day’s like a reminder that he’s not here anymore and life’s never going to be the same without him.”
Appealing for anyone with video footage or information to help bring the killer to justice, Lola said: “It would just mean so much to us as a family for any footage, any pictures, anything that you can bring to the police and get in touch with them just to bring whoever it is that murdered my husband to justice.”
Cheriff”s father Moussa Tall endorsed Lola’s appeal and said: “He’s a killer, he’s dangerous to society. Maybe he already killed or is awaiting to kill again. Somebody who killed two people in one night with no remorse, without anything and without any respect. You know that (person) can kill again. So I’m calling for that somebody who knows something to just come forward and help us, help the police to catch this killer because two years is too long..”
GMP has a dedicated portal available for anyone to send through footage or photographs: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/06GMP20S30-PO1
Anyone with information can contact police on 0161 856 9908, quoting incident number 221 of 06/21/20 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
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