Merseyside police officials have launched a murder investigation after an 18-year-old boy, Yousef Sonko, was fatally shot in the head in broad daylight in Liverpool, making it the third shooting in less than 24 hours, according to the Liverpool Echo. At around 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Merseyside police officials were called to Tagus Street, at the rear of Lodge Lane, after a body was found in the street.
The victim, who was later identified as Sonko, was transported to Royal Liverpool University Hospital after paramedics worked diligently to save his life, but he was pronounced dead a short time after arrival.
Before Sonko was gunned down in the street, two unidentified men were injured in a shooting near Fazakerley and Seaforth areas.
Police officials in Merseyside ask the community to stand together during this tragic time.
Detective Paul Richardson said, “We need to stand together to get these cowardly individuals off our streets and take firearms out of circulation. We need to build up an evidential picture. It is absolutely key in order to reduce the threat by taking firearms, as well as the people using those firearms, off our streets.”
“If you have any information in relation to the whereabouts of firearms on Merseyside please contact us, we will act on all information. There is no place for firearms or those who use them and bring fear to our communities, on our streets.”
“We need members of the public to come forward with information so we can keep our streets safe,” Richardson continued. “And put these cruel and callous individuals who are causing pain in our communities behind bars.”
Police have conducted an investigation into the cold-blooded murder of Sonko, but Richardson stated it is in its early stages. Investigators are working to uncover a motive for the Liverpool shooting and a lead that would help identify the person responsible for Sonko’s murder. CCTV footage will also be reviewed in an effort to find Sonko’s killer.
Richardson went on to say that he believes the teen was targeted, adding that the shooting took “the life of an 18-year-old man, who should have had the rest of his life to look forward to. A family has been shattered and their lives will never be the same again, we need to find those responsible.”
“No mother, or father, expects to bury their child at the age of 18 years and I can’t begin to imagine what this young man’s family are going through, and our family liaison officers are currently providing them with specialist support.”
When members of the community learned of Sonko’s brutal killing, they paid tribute to the teen by leaving flowers at the crime scene.
In a Facebook post, the victim’s friend, Tre Kirwan, wrote, “I lost one of my good friends last night who I have shared plenty of memories with since the old school days. It is sad to think that you won’t be around anymore to make the crowd laugh. Rest in peace Yusuf Sonko — gone way too soon, still only young going to miss you my bro.”
In a condolence card, friends Lilly, Charley, and Evie wrote, “We will cherish the memories we made with you, always making us laugh, throwing yourself in shop shutters and eating five McDonald’s burgers at a time. Keep smiling and laughing.”
Some residents of Toxteth stated that they are now living in fear, having to constantly “look over their shoulder due to teenage gangs operating in the area.”
If anyone witnessed Sonko’s brutal murder, Merseyside police officials ask that you come forward and contact the office at 0800-230-0600.
[Featured Image by 400tmax/iStock]