Funeral of Sheffield man gunned dead on the street attracts 'record' turnout
Mourners spilled onto the streets this afternoon as the funeral of a young man shot dead in Sheffield attracted a 'record' turnout.
Hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects to Aseel Al-Essaie who died, aged just 23, after being gunned down in Upperthorpe last month.
Al Rahman Mosque & Cultural Centre, in Pitsmoor, was so full well-wishers had to kneel on mats and scraps of cardboard outside, with crowds stretching up Gower Street past a neighbouring restaurant and shops.
A family friend estimated the turnout at 1,200, which he said was the biggest ever for a funeral at the mosque.
Mohsin Obaid described Aseel as a 'lovely' man who 'always had a smile' and volunteered to help local youths.
He said Aseel, who lived in Upperthorpe, had a 'bright future' ahead of him and it was tragic he had been taken so young.
"He was one of the nicest, sweetest boys you could hope to meet. He wasn't a violent man. He was a peacemaker," said Mr Obaid.
Mourners knelt in prayer inside the mosque and on the pavement outside during the funeral service, which began at 12.30pm.
Aseel's body was then taken to be buried in Tinsley.
Aseel was shot in Daniel Hill, Upperthorpe, on Saturday, February 18, and died in hospital later that day.
The former Tapton School pupil had just pulled up outside a house for a family gathering to celebrate his twin sister's engagement when the fatal attack happened.
Nine suspects have been arrested over his death, all of whom have been bailed pending further enquiries.
* Anyone with information is asked to call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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