Detectives have warned that today’s sentencing is not the end of the investigation into Jordan Thomas’ murder.
Jama Ahmed, aged 26, of Broomhall Place, was found guilty of murdering Mr Thomas in a shooting on Derek Dooley Way, on December 21, last year, at Sheffield Crown Court.
Ahmed was also found guilty of attempting to murder a second man inside the vehicle and will serve a minimum of 36 years behind bars.
Asif Yousaf, 33, of Violet Bank Road, Nether Edge was cleared of murder and attempted murder.
Following an investigation involving numerous witness statements, interviews, forensic evidence, and meticulous review of CCTV, South Yorkshire Police and prosecutors argued that Ahmed was part of a team that targeted Mr Thomas in revenge for the death of 24-year-old Mubarak Ali in 2011.
Mr Thomas’ cousin, James Knowles, was jailed for ten years for the manslaughter of Mr Ali after he was stabbed to death in Sheffield in September 2011.
Mr Thomas, from Firshill, Sheffield, was a passenger in a silver Ford Mondeo when the car was shot at while stationary in Derek Dooley Way at around 10.10pm.
He suffered two gunshot wounds and was taken to hospital, but died a short time, while Neshaun Ferguson - the driver of the Mondeo - was shot once but survived the attack.
Detective Chief Inspector Phil Etheridge, who led the inquiry, said: “This was not about turf war or gang warfare, this was simply retribution for the death of a man three years before.
“Jordan was the cousin of the man convicted of the crime and those linked to the victim wanted revenge, pure and simple. Jordan was targeted by people with a score to settle.
“He did not deserve to be gunned down in the street - a young life was cut tragically short, leaving a community devastated and changing the lives of his family forever.
“Deaths involving firearms carry the harshest sentences and using a firearm to settle scores will absolutely not be tolerated in South Yorkshire.
“I hope this sends a very clear message to anyone considering going out in our county armed with a firearm that we will carry out extensive enquiries to find you, arrest you, and bring you to justice.”
Police believe that others, who have not yet been convicted, were also involved in Mr Thomas’ death and are appealing for anyone with information about others involved in the attack to come forward.
DCI Etheridge said: “This investigation is not over. We believe there were others involved in Jordan’s murder and we continue to carry out enquiries to find them and bring them to justice.
“While we are satisfied with the outcome in court today, we will continue to try to achieve further justice for Jordan and his family.”
South Yorkshire Police said a dedicated policing team was established following Mr Thomas’ death, which began to piece together the events leading up to the shooting.
Detectives discovered that Mr Thomas was amongst a group of people involved in a dispute with Ahmed and others in the days before his death.
It was uncovered that both victims were at a nightclub in Sheffield two days before Jordan’s murder.
CCTV shows that the victims and Ahmed, with others, were involved in a confrontation near to the club in Broomhall, during which shots were fired.
Mr Thomas spent the next night in Birmingham. During this time, detectives found that members of the defendant’s group had gone looking for Mr Thomas and made threats towards him.
Mr Thomas returned to Sheffield on the day of his death, the same day that Ahmed arranged the purchase of a Mitsubishi Shogun.
Enquiries revealed that the Shogun pulled up in De La Salle Drive, in Pitsmoor, at around 9.15pm. Witnesses said a group of men were looking for Mr Thomas and had a firearm in their possession.
Police and prosecutors believe Ahmed was one of a number of people acting together to kill Mr Thomas.
The defendant’s group travelled to Burngreave, where they saw Mr Thomas inside the Mondeo, and followed him to Derek Dooley Way and shot at the car. The group fled the scene and dumped the car in Pondorosa Park.
Mohammed Yousaf, 61, also of Violet Bank Road, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and handed a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years.
Anyone with information about others involved in the death of Jordan Thomas, should call South Yorkshire Police on 101. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.