Police find two guns hidden on land close to scene of fatal Sheffield shooting

Two guns have been found by police officers on open land close to the scene of a fatal shooting in Sheffield.

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 5:44 am
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 3:22 pm

The firearms were found on land off Westmoreland Street, Upperthorpe, last Friday as part of Operation Sceptre – a week-long initiative aimed at reducing knife crime across the country.

Officers raided homes and searched areas of open land looking for hidden or discarded weapons in a bid to prevent them falling into the wrong hands.

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It has now emerged that as part of the operation officers seized two guns close to where 23-year-old Aseel Al-Essaie was shot dead on Daniel Hill, Upperthorpe, in February 2017.

He was gunned down at point blank range as he pulled up outside a house where he was due to attend his sister’s engagement party.

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Three men were convicted of his murder on a joint enterprise basis and were jailed for a combined total of 90 years.

Matthew Cohen, 30, of Clough View Road, Oughtibridge, denied murder but admitted that he was the driver of the car used in the drive-by shooting, although he refused to name the gunman who opened fire, saying: "I'm not prepared to put my life on the line".

Dale Gordon, 34, of Benty Lane, Crosspool and Keil Bryan, 33, of Brackley Street, Burngreave, were both jailed after being convicted on the basis that they were in the car but it was never proved who fired the gun.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that Mr Al-Essaie had been a Class A drug dealer.

The judge who presided over the case said it was ‘overwhelmingly probable that, whatever the precise reason, it had to do with a dispute over the supply of such drugs’.

Commenting on the discovery of the two guns last Friday, South Yorkshire Police said: “Enquiries into the circumstances around why the firearms were in this location are ongoing.”