Vigil to be held for Sheffield High Street stabbing victim Mohamed Issa Koroma
A vigil is being held to remember a 24-year-old man who was killed in Sheffield city centre while handing out leaflets for his church.
Mohamed Issa Koroma, known as Chris, was stabbed to death on Sheffield’s High Street on the afternoon of September 17.
Despite the efforts of paramedics and members of the public, the 24-year-old died soon after the attack.
Now, family and friends in the Sheffield community have organised a vigil for Mohamed to pay tribute to his life and stand in solidarity against hate and violence.
The event will be held at 7pm tomorrow next to the Castle Square tram stop, close to where the attack took place.
Attendees will be invited to light candles in Mohamed’s memory.
The event is being supported the city council’s Race Equality Commissioners, the Sheffield And District African Caribbean Community Association (SADACCA) and the Faithstar faith-based accountancy charity.
Event organiser Olivier Tsemo, of SADACCA, and Shahida Siddique, of Faithstar, said in a joint statement: “We wanted to organise a vigil for Mohamed Issa Koroma because his life matters, not just to his family and friends but to all of us.
“Through this vigil we also want to raise awareness so that people can remain safe.
“We want people to respect and honour Mohamed’s life and make sure that in doing so calmly we send a loud and clear message that Sheffield is a united community, and this violent act isn’t going to divide us.
“Although many people didn’t know Mohamed, our community is one. Hate and violence has no place here and we will stand up against it as one.”
Mr Koroma, a food bank volunteer born in Sierra Leone, has been described since his death as a “shining light” and a “very happy soul” who “focused on making other people happy”.
James Patrick Lee, 31, of Doncaster Road, Rotherham, has been remanded in custody after being charged with his murder. A provisional trial date has been set for next March.
One of the city council’s race equality commissioners Sonia Gayle said: “People need to feel safe and able to go about their day-to-day business without fear.
“Whilst crimes of this particular nature are thankfully a rare occurrence across South Yorkshire generally, it is sad to see that the latest government statistics, published in 2020 for the UK as a whole, show a continued rising trend in hate crime incidences.”
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.