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Families of men killed at lockdown party pay tribute a year on from deaths

Cheriff Tall and Abayomi Ajose were shot at a ‘spontaneous gathering’ hours after a Black Lives Matter family event in Moss Side, Manchester, in 2020.

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Police at the scene of the fatal shooting in the Manchester on June 21 last year (Peter Byrne/PA)

Police at the scene of the fatal shooting in the Manchester on June 21 last year (Peter Byrne/PA)

Police at the scene of the fatal shooting in the Manchester on June 21 last year (Peter Byrne/PA)

The families of two men shot at a lockdown party have paid tribute a year on from their deaths, as police appealed for the public’s help to catch their killer.

Cheriff Tall, 21, and Abayomi Ajose, 36, known as Junior, were shot at a “spontaneous gathering” that followed hours after a Black Lives Matter family event nearby in Moss Side, Manchester, in the early hours of June 21 last year.

Letters written by relatives of the victims were released by Greater Manchester Police a year on from the killings as officers called for the community to find the “courage” to come forward.

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Abayomi Ajose, 36, (second from right) who was shot dead in a double murder at an outdoor lockdown party (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

Abayomi Ajose, 36, (second from right) who was shot dead in a double murder at an outdoor lockdown party (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

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Abayomi Ajose, 36, (second from right) who was shot dead in a double murder at an outdoor lockdown party (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

Mr Ajose, a social care worker and father of three, was remembered by son Seyon, nine, who wrote: “If he was here now he would be very happy and proud of me.”

A letter from his three-year-old daughter Sedona said: “I miss my daddy every day, he was my hero.”

Mr Tall’s sister Khadija wrote: “There’s an emptiness that our family and some of your friends feel that means nothing will ever be the same again.”

Superintendent Mark Dexter said officers had knocked on hundreds of doors, spoken to more than 400 witnesses and viewed hundreds of hours of CCTV footage, but needed help to find the “missing piece of the jigsaw”.

He said: “We want people in the community to have the courage to come forward and give us that crucial clue or piece of evidence that brings us closer to catching the man responsible.”

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Cheriff Tall, 21, who was fatally shot at a lockdown party a year ago (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

Cheriff Tall, 21, who was fatally shot at a lockdown party a year ago (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

PA

Cheriff Tall, 21, who was fatally shot at a lockdown party a year ago (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Wilkinson added: “I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of devastation that these families have had to endure this past year, and although we can never reunite them with their loved ones, I hope that we can bring to them some sort of solace by ensuring that those responsible face the full consequences of their actions.

“Ever since that catastrophic night, our dedicated team of detectives have been working relentlessly with just as much determination as ever to crack this case and bring this killer to justice.

“One year on and our investigation remains as dynamic as ever. We will continue to work alongside the community to find those answers we need and build on our case for a successful conviction.

“Although we have spoken to a number of witnesses, we are still missing an important piece of the puzzle and hope that anyone who knows anything and has not yet come forward can find the courage to speak to us.

“These families have been through so much and deserve to see this criminal pay the price for the destruction and distress he has caused to their lives.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 9908, quoting incident number 221 of 21/06/20.

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