Murder squad detectives have identified 189 people who were at the Moss Side lockdown party that ended in double murder – but none have admitted to witnessing the gunman firing the fatal shots.
Some are refusing to speak to police and one even ran away when officers visited his house, the M.E.N. can reveal.
Silence is the absence of ambient audible sound, the emission of sounds of such low intensity that they do not draw attention to themselves, or the state of having ceased to produce sounds; this latter sense can be extended to apply to the cessation or absence of any form of communication, whether through speech or other medium.Sometimes speakers fall silent when they hesitate in searching for a word, or interrupt themselves before correcting themselves. Discourse analysis shows that people use brief silences to mark the boundaries of prosodic units, in turn-taking, or as
reactive tokens, e.g., as a sign of displeasure, disagreement, embarrassment, desire to think, confusion, and the like. Relatively prolonged intervals of silence can be used in rituals; in some religious disciplines, people maintain silence for protracted periods, or even for the rest of their lives, as an ascetic means of spiritual transformation.
The wall of silence around the murder of two men in Manchester
Around may refer to:
“Around” (song), by Julia van Bergen
Around, 2006 album by Tom Verlaine
Around, 2013 EP by Whirr
Around, 2006 Palestinian film
A gunman blasted Cheriff Tall, 21, and Abayomi Ajose, 36, in the head at the rowdy party in a car park off Caythorpe Street just before 1am on June 21.
It is believed Mr Ajose, a support worker known as Junior or Aby, and father of three, stepped in to help Mr Tall, who had ambitions to become a pilot or join the army, when the latter became involved in an argument with the gunman.
The wall of silence around the murder of two men in Manchester
Both victims were shot at close range in the head.
The gunman fled a chaotic scene.
It is believed he had travelled north to attend the lockdown party in Moss Side with his partner.
Police have arrested a woman of 32 in Birmingham on suspicion of double murder but released her on bail pending further enquiries.
Detectives have a prime suspect, a man from Birmingham with a ‘criminal background’, although he has not yet been traced despite a series of searches conducted by West Midlands Police on behalf of GMP.
He remains on the run.
An estimated 300 people were at the event, a clear breach of lockdown rules at the time, but so far none of them has provided an account of the three shots that were fired. Three gunshot cartridges were found at the scene.
Detectives have now identified 189 people who were there either by their name or nickname. The rest have, as yet, not been identified at all by police.
Of those police have identified, police have spoken to 159 of them but so far, if they saw the shooting, they have not admitted it.
Police believe among the reluctant attendees will be some eye-witnesses to a brutal double murder.
Chief Inspector Stuart Wilkinson, who is leading the manhunt, told the M.E.N: “We have visited most of them. Within there, there are some eye-witnesses who are either refusing to meet us or reluctant to tell us exactly what’s gone on.
“There’s frustration because obviously we’ve got two families who’ve got to deal with the devastation of having murdered loved ones. On top of that, I’m going to have to tell them we’ve still not got people in the community who are prepared to step up and tell us what’s gone on and give them some justice.”
One potential witness ran out of the back of his house when police knocked on his door, said the detective.
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Police have gathered footage of the party but suspect there will be much more footage they have not yet uncovered of the shooting itself.
Chf Insp Wilkinson said he understood why people were reluctant to give evidence in court.
“I totally accept that they will be scared,” he said, explaining that potential witnesses could be protected in a number of ways either by giving evidence from behind screens, being granted anonymity or even going into witness protection.
The officer went on: “There are some people speaking. I’m not saying everyone is being unhelpful. It’s a close-knit community in Moss Side. People are speaking.
“We have information coming into the room but out of all the people we have spoken to I’m sure there must be eye-witnesses but nobody is coming forward to say what they have seen.”
People who have come forward have told police they heard gunshots but did not see them being fired.
“But in my view if you hear a gunshot your attention will be automatically drawn. There were three shots. I’m pretty sure someone must have seen the activity,” said Chf Insp Wilkinson.
If people had information, he said he needed to know what it was before considering what protection can be afforded potential witnesses.
“There doesn’t need to be any commitment from them. We just need to understand what they saw and we can discuss what options we can give them, to give them that confidence to give us a statement,” he said.
He added: “I understand that fear factor with the police in Moss Side. There might be a lack of confidence in the police but it’s just about trying to encourage people to come forward and have a chat with us and tell us what they know and then we can discuss what options we have in ways of presenting evidence in court and giving them some protection.
“It must be heart-breaking for for the families. One has lost Cheriff, aged 21 with the rest of his life in front of him and we’ve got Junior, a husband and a dad of three kids. They have got to deal with that traumatic experience but then to be told we don’t have anybody in the community willing to come forward to help get them justice for those murders. It must be heart-breaking for them.”
At an emotional press conference earlier this month, Cheriff’s father Mousa Tall, 53, a support worker, said the gunman was ‘in hiding like a rat’. He said they had come from behind his son to shoot him.
“We are Muslims. We trust Allah. We know Allah knows him, he saw him. He’s waiting. There’s a verse they say in the Quran: every soul shall taste death, whoever you are and wherever you are.
“It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter the way you will be, you are dying. But the day will come and he will stand in front of Allah.
“And he will ask you, why did you kill this person? And why did you come from behind to shoot him from behind? Why you didn’t face him?”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 0161 856 9908, quoting incident number 221 of 21/06/2020. Reports can also be made anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
People are also being urged to upload footage via GMP’s major incident team public portal: .