A woman 32 has been arrested after two men were shot dead at a street party in Manchester over the weekend.
Father-of-three Abayomi Ajose, 36, was gunned down along with 21-year-old Cheriff Tall in the early hours of Sunday morning during the event in Moss Side, Manchester. They later died in hospital.
In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said: ‘Yesterday evening (Thursday) a woman aged 32 from the Birmingham area was arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder. She remains in custody for questioning. Police are continuing to appeal for information.’
The victims were shot around 12.55am on Sunday in Caythorpe Street during the ‘spontaneous gathering,’ which came hours after a family event nearby in Moss Side, said police.
Witnesses and family members of Mr Ajose, who worked for children’s services at Manchester City Council, said he was acting as a ‘peacemaker’ during a row before he was fatally shot.
Moss Side has been shocked by the double murder, with police and Councillor Mahadi Hussein Sharif Mahamed saying the incident was ‘not a true representation of what our Moss Side is all about’.
The victims’ devastated families paid tribute to social care worker and ‘community hero’ Mr Ajose, and ‘model son’ Mr Tall, who lobbied against youth violence in Parliament.
In a tribute to Mr Ajose – also known as Abi and Junior – his wife Lola said: ‘Junior was an exceptional human being, he was my king and he treated me like his queen.
‘Anything I needed he would get for me and always went beyond my expectations. The best thing about him for me was the way he showed his love for our three children.
‘He will be sadly missed by all, I am devastated and heartbroken. I am left without a doting husband and a loving father to our three children.’
Mr Tall had visited the Houses of Parliament to lobby MPs about youth violence before his death.
In a tribute to him, his family said: ‘Cheriff loved his parents dearly, he was very close to his mother and it’s impossible to say that she will ever recover from this senseless loss.
‘He was a model son, they doted on him and they are overcome with grief.’
Youth worker, Akemia Minott, called Mr Tall an ‘amazing young man’, adding: ‘He was probably one of the most popular well-liked young men in the community. Everybody knew him. He was very cheeky but very happy.’
She told The Guardian that the victims’ deaths had ‘created a new layer of devastation’ for the community.
‘These men were loved by so many and the full impact of these tragic deaths is immeasurable,’ she added.
Greater Manchester Police have faced criticism for not shutting down the party, after residents complained about the disturbance from 10pm on.
Police said they monitored the gathering but had no intelligence of any criminal activity and said it was ‘not achievable to safely disperse every group of people that are gathering’.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and police officials insisted the gathering, with a DJ and PA system on a car park in a large residential area, was not a ‘rave’.
A fundraiser set up for Mr Ajose’s family to cover his funeral costs has raised more than £7,000, while a minute’s silence and peaceful march was held in honour of Mr Tall.
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