'He was happy and on a mission to celebrate - 30 minutes later he was dead'

Assel Al-Essaie
Assel Al-Essaie
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Assel Al-Essaie was happy and ready to celebrate his sister's engagement as he chatted to family outside a Sheffield barber's shop.

Thirty minutes later the 23-year-old was dead, shot in the chest in broad daylight.

Forensic investigators at the scene in Daniel Hill.

Forensic investigators at the scene in Daniel Hill.

Police have arrested a man on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder and detectives are still investigating the shooting, which happened in Daniel Hill, Upperthorpe, on Saturday afternoon.

But Mr Al-Essaie's family are now coming to terms with the death of a man who was 'always smiling' and there 'for everyone'.

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Police cordon off the area.

Police cordon off the area.

Cousin Abdul Aziz, who came from his home in Liverpool for the party, said he was 'in shock'.

"Half an hour before he died I spoke to him outside a barber's," he said.

"We just had a chat - he was happy. He said he had a mission today with the celebration. He just said he would call me later.

"He was smiling, happy and getting ready for the party."

Not long afterwards, Mr Aziz had a phonecall to say his cousin had died. Police said he was shot in the chest.

"It's been very hard for all the family," said Mr Aziz, 22.

"Everyone is very upset. It's been terrible - we are a very close family."

Floral tributes left at the scene of Mr Al-Essaie's death described a man with a 'heart of pure gold'.

Mr Aziz said: "He was the nicest guy ever. He was always smiling.

"He was the guy that you needed - he was always there for me and for everyone.

"Everyone loved him. No-one can believe that he died."

Mr Al-Essaie was a waiter and, according to his cousin, did not get into trouble.

"He didn't have any problems," said Mr Aziz.

Yesterday police said a 30-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder, and remained in custody being questioned by officers.

Senior investigating officer Joanne Bates said: “We are still exploring a number of lines of enquiry in relation to Mr Al-Essaie’s death and any witnesses are urged to come forward.

“I would like to reassure the community that we are doing everything possible to determine the exact circumstances of the incident.

“Officers and PCSOs will continue to patrol the area and anyone with any information is asked to speak to them.”

Call South Yorkshire Police on 101.