Candlelit vigil for Sheffield stabbing victim 'is a chance for city to come together in stand against violence'

A candlelit vigil for a much-loved man stabbed to death in Sheffield city centre is a chance for the community to ‘come together’ in a stand against violence.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 11:13 am

A gathering will be held at 7pm tonight (Friday, October 1) next to Castle Square tram stop in memory of Mohamed Issa Koroma.

The ‘kind’ food bank volunteer was handing out leaflets for his church when he was stabbed to death on Sheffield High Street on the afternoon of September 17. A man has been charged with his murder.

The vigil close to Sheffield Cathedral today will take place less than a minute’s walk from the scene of the attack.

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Mohamed Issa Koroma was stabbed to death on High Street in Sheffield city centre

Now, one of the organisers behind the gathering is urging Sheffield to use tonight as chance to come together in support of one another.

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"This vigil is something we can all do to show our support and solidarity,” said organiser Olivier Tsemo, chief executive of the Sheffield And District African Caribbean Community Association.

"We need to come together. This was the death of a man who looked like me. I have men who are in their 50s in my community who are afraid to go into town. I have five boys, and if I learned one of my boys died I would want to know everything is being done to say this will not happen again and that the community is safe.

Mohamed Issa Koroma died after being stabbed in Sheffield city centre.

“We need to use the vigil to shout and say this is wrong and this should not happen.”

A statement released ahead of the vigil reads: “People of all creeds, races and faiths who can attend are being invited to join the vigil and light a candle in Mohamed’s memory."

The vigil organisers are also asking anyone who cannot attend to light a candle and place it on their doorstep at 7pm.

It comes after a GoFundMe launched by Mohamed’s friend Victoria Walker has raised over £5,000 in just two days to support the 24-year-old’s family and funeral costs.

Mr Koroma, a food bank volunteer born in Sierra Leone who was also known as Chris, has been described since his death as a “shining light” and a “very happy soul” who “focused on making other people happy”.

Ms Walker wrote in a update last night: “We send a heartfelt appreciation for all the love and donations each of you have given.

"We’re truly grateful for everybody’s donations. We want to say a huge thank you.

"We’d also like to invite you a candle light vigil for Mohamed held at Castle Square Tram stop in Sheffield, City Center.

"We’d love for all those who can attend to please join us to stand in solidarity against hate and violence. Thank you all once again. We’re all moved beyond words from all the generosity and support.”

James Patrick Lee, 31, of Doncaster Road, Rotherham, has been remanded in custody after being charged with Mohamed’s murder. A provisional trial date has been set for next March.

Detectives investigating the murder are urging businesses in the city centre to check their CCTV cameras and motorist to look at their dashcams for any footage recorded around the time of the incident.

Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 and quote incident number 585 of September 17.