Man, 24, charged with shooting student dead as residents call for more investment in Sheffield’s ‘forgotten community’

Sheffield's Spital Hill was closed after the shooting
Sheffield's Spital Hill was closed after the shooting
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A MAN has been charged with the murder of a Sheffield student gunned down in a city suburb over the weekend.

Abdi Mohammed Omar, aged 24, of Lopham Street, Burngreave, appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court yesterday morning accused of killing 18-year-old Deeq Ali, of Catherine Road, Burngreave.

The Sheffield Hallam University undergraduate was shot dead at the end of a family party at the Spital Hill Plaza, Spital Hill, Burngreave, in the early hours of Sunday.

Two other men arrested in connection with the murder have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

Omar was remanded in custody until his case is mentioned at Sheffield Crown Court next week.

Deeq’s death is the second tragedy to hit his family in seven months. His 18-year-old cousin Abdulla Awil Mohammed, also from Burngreave, died in March when a car ploughed into a street sign which fell on his head and killed him.

Deeq was shot dead the day before the car driver – Aminur Rahman, 20, was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court to eight years in prison for Abdulla’s manslaughter.

Shocked residents reeling from the fatal shooting of Deeq Ali are calling for more investment in activities and jobs to deter youths from lives of crime.

Locals upset by the shooting of the former Parkwood High School student claim more opportunities need to be provided for young people to get them off the streets at night. Residents gathering at the police cordon at the crime scene voiced concerns at the lack of facilities and jobs for young people in the area.

Some also spoke of feeling unsafe in the wake of the murder.

Taher Saleh, 35, claimed Burngreave is a ‘forgotten community’.

He said: “I have been here since 1986, educated here and we came here for a decent way of life – not to end up in a situation like this where compared to other more affluent areas we get nothing.

“We pay our taxes and work hard and yet we have groups on the streets night after night. Would other areas have to put up with it?

“There is no investment here and shootings like this fuel the anger people already feel. Young people are our future but where are the opportunities for them? Where is the investment in them?”

Ben Mohsen, 41, also called for investment. “I feel Burngreave has been forgotten about for too long.

“There isn’t anywhere for young people to go. A lot of people feel hopeless and helpless living here – and there is now a sad feeling after the shooting, which is a tragic waste of a young life.

“There is also a sense of people feeling like second class citizens – there is no integration any more, just lots of different cultures all living in the same area feeling like they have been locked together because of ethnicity.”

Mohammed Abokar, 38, said: “Children need support when they leave school because at the moment there is no work and nothing for them to do. You just see groups of young people standing outside.”

Said Jama, 40, who works in a convenience store close to the crime scene, said: “It is very disappointing this has happened, that someone has lost their life – people feel really sad.

“What worries a lot of people is that there are people walking about with guns and that people can be killed so easily.”

Mahamud Duale, 60, said he prefers his teenage children to stay at home at night.

He said: “I do not like the thought of people killing each other where I live. I have children and I am worried for them and I like them to stay at home where I know they are safe but I can’t force them.

“I know these things can happen everywhere, but this is worrying.”

Safaa Abdi, a 39-year-old mother-of-one, said: “It scares me to hear of people being shot. I won’t let my daughter out alone.”

Eid Dualeh, 52, who runs a Burngreave cafe, said: “It is very sad for a young life to be lost – these things have changed how safe people feel here. I have never seen people with guns but to know they are around worries me.

“I see lots of young people congregating at night with nothing to do.”