A SHEFFIELD teenager shot dead over the weekend was the cousin of another young man killed in the city just seven months earlier, The Star can reveal.
Deeq Ali, aged 18, of Catherine Road, Burngreave, was killed in the early hours of Sunday at the end of a family party at the Spital Hill Plaza on Spital Hill.
Seven months earlier Deeq was walking alongside his cousin Abdulla Awil Mohammed, also 18 and from Burngreave, when he was killed after a car mounted a pavement following clashes between rival groups of Bengali and Somali youths, and struck a road sign which hit him.
The driver of the car - 20-year-old Aminur Rahman, of Jubilee Road Darnall - admitted manslaughter and was sentenced to eight years in a young offenders’ institute yesterday, while his victim’s family struggled to come to terms with the second tragedy to befall them.
Deeq’s heartbroken sister Sagal Ali, 21, said her family was devastated at the loss of another young life in such a short space of time.
“Words cannot describe how heartbroken we are,” she said.
“He was my mother’s only son and the youngest of her four children.
“He was a straight A-grade student at school and was studying at Sheffield Hallam University with the whole of his life ahead of him.
“We were all very proud of him - he was a role model for other young people and a real family man who would do anything to help anyone.”
She said her brother - a former Parkwood High School student who was studying for a degree in human geography - had been with their cousin when he was mown down on Coleridge Road, Darnall, in March.
They were among a group of young men walking along the pavement when a car, travelling at speed, crossed from the other side of the road and struck them.
“They were together when our cousin died and he saw it all happen but it made him a stronger person and he went on to support Abdulla’s mother as much as he could,” she added.
“It changed him into the amazing young man that he was before he passed away.”
She said she wanted to dispel rumours circulating in Burngreave that her brother was part of a gang.
“He had never been in trouble with the police in his life and was never a member of any gang - he had just been at a family party with us all but there wasn’t enough room in the car for us all to leave together, so he stayed behind and called my mum to say he was on his way home. Twenty minutes later it all happened.”
One of Deeq’s cousins, who did not want to be named, added: “I am in total shock, I don’t know what to feel - I just can’t imagine a world without him in it.
“He was very very popular with a big family and lots of friends.”
Three men arrested over his murder were still being held by police last night as the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting continued.
Chief Superintendent Simon Torr, Sheffield’s District Commander, said detectives were keeping an “open mind” over the motive.
He praised the Burngreave community for coming forward and assisting his officers with their enquiries.
“There were a lot of people around and we are getting some good support from the community,” he said.
“There were a number of witnesses, we are examining CCTV footage from the area and carrying out door to door enquiries. The scene has also been cordoned off.
“The community is being very helpful but anyone with any knowledge who has not yet come forward needs to.
“This is an incident that will cause many people great concern, but we have acted swiftly, made early arrests and are conducting a very thorough and professional investigation.”
He held a second meeting with community leaders yesterday to keep them briefed on the progress of the police probe and made a second appeal for calm - stressing that fatal shootings in Sheffield “remain very rare”.
Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 0114 2202020 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.