Angry gunman ‘shot cousin dead’ at Sheffield party

Sheffield's Spital Hill closed after a shooting at the weekend               See Story Jeni Harvey  Picture by Chris Lawton'31 Oct  2011
Sheffield's Spital Hill closed after a shooting at the weekend See Story Jeni Harvey Picture by Chris Lawton'31 Oct 2011
Have your say

A MAN pulled a sawn-off shotgun from his trousers and shot and killed his cousin as he was escorted from a birthday party, Sheffield Crown Court was told.

Abdi Omar, aged 25, killed his cousin Deeq Ali, 18, at a party at Spital Hill Plaza, Burngreave, prosecuting counsel Michael Shorrock QC told the jury.

Mr Shorrock said: “He was being escorted out of the premises when he pulled a loaded sawn-off 410 shotgun from his trousers and fired.

“As a consequence Deeq Ali received a massive injury to his head and died.”

Omar ran off but was later arrested when he asked officers: “What are you arresting me for? I have done nothing, I was watching football at home.”

In a later statement he said the gun had gone off accidentally as he was being jostled towards the exit.

Later he admitted firing the gun intentionally to frighten the group by aiming over their heads.

Omar, of Lopham Street, Burngreave, denies murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

But Mr Shorrock said the Crown did not accept the manslaughter plea saying Omar ‘had intended to do someone serious harm at the very least’.

He said Mr Ali, of Catherine Road, Burngreave, was killed at the 24th birthday party of a young woman called Rosalin Roberts in October last year. Omar was described by witnesses as being ‘angry and aggressive’ and party-goer Soloman Gebremesekel, who had earlier denied entry to a group of Somali youths including Omar, suspected he was carrying a weapon.

“Mr Gebremesekel went up to him and grabbed him,” said Mr Shorrock. “He could tell Omar had something like a gun under his trousers.

“At that point a number of others appeared and told Mr Gebremesekel to leave him alone – one of those was the victim, Mr Ali.

“They were telling Omar to leave and pushing him towards the door.”

Witnesses heard Mr Ali telling his cousin to ‘chill out’ moments before the shot was fired.

Mr Ali was rushed to the Northern General Hospital but was pronounced dead at 3.28am.

Mr Shorrock added: “There was a great deal of confusion and hysteria within the Plaza. People were terrified, crying and screaming.”

Police arrested Omar shortly afterwards in nearby Andover Street. He was three times the drink drive limit.

The gun was retrieved from bushes near Omar’s home and, when officers searched his address, they found his clothes soaking in a bucket of water.

Omar told police he had been given the gun to look after by an unknown man and put it down his trousers.

He claimed he was worried it would go off while he was being pushed and pulled, so he took it out and it went off by accident.

Mr Shorrock said: “In a drunken anger or frustration about being made unwelcome at the party and being ejected, he deliberately chose to teach those behind him a lesson and fired this gun in their direction.”

Tests showed Mr Ali had been standing between two and nine inches from the gun when it was discharged.

The trial continues.