The mother of an 18-year-old who was shot dead in a Liverpool street has expressed her dismay at other recent gun crimes to mark the six-year anniversary of his death.
Yusuf Sonko was a week away from graduating from high school when he was shot dead on June 2, 2017 on Tagus Street in Toxteth.
Eight men have since been arrested in connection with the murder and a ninth man volunteered for an interview, but no one has been charged with the murder.
Now his mother Khadija Sonko says she wants to face the person who killed her son as Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to £20,000 for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.
Khadija, 45, said: “I have to face the person and ask them why.” Why me? Why Yusuf?
‘Eighteen years is too early, you don’t even let him enjoy his life.’ It’s just nasty.’
Yusuf’s shooting was one of five that occurred in Merseyside in one week in 2017.
Five fatal shootings erupted in Merseyside last year, including the murder of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel.
Khadija, a hair salon owner, said news of other gun crime victims in the area brought her back to her son’s death.
She added, “I’m crying for her.” Even though I don’t know who the mother is, I’m crying for her because I know what I’m going through, it’s never going to end. It’s always there.
“When I hear that someone’s child has been murdered, I cry.” I say, “Again? Yet again? Why don’t they stop?”
“I don’t think any mother should go through what I’m going through.”
Khadija believes there are people who have information on her son’s killer – and after information was leaked to Merseyside Police following Olivia’s death, she is hoping they will come forward.
She addressed them directly and said, “You know what happened.” Why don’t you give him justice? Why do you have to let me suffer with my family and keep the secret?
“It’s not a snitch. This is a murder case, spies and murder are completely different.
“If you keep this information to yourself, you are evil, you have an evil heart.”
Police believe Yusuf was shot as part of a dispute between rival gangs centered around Lodge Lane – but it is believed he only appeared “on the fringes of one of those groups” in the weeks leading up to the attack.
Detective Inspector Sarah Wilkinson said: “Eight arrests have been made so far and our investigation into Yusuf’s death stands with a new £20,000 reward from charity Crimestoppers until the shooter is found and brought to justice.”
“Our detectives remain convinced that there are people in (postcode area) L8 and beyond who have critical information that will help us find those responsible for Yusuf’s death.”
She called on anyone who witnessed the shooting, saw groups of young men running in the Lodge Lane area just before 8:30pm that night, or saw two men on pedal bikes in the area before or after, to come forward.
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