Renewed Appeal To Trace Gun After Fatal Shooting

19th June 2018

Detectives investigating the murder of Leeds teenager Raheem Wilks are making a renewed appeal for information to trace the gun used to kill him.

Officers are also appealing for information to identify those connected to the weapon or who were involved in the wider planning of the shooting.

The renewed appeal featured on yesterday's (18/6) BBC Crimewatch Roadshow.

The independent charity Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to £5,000 to anyone providing information directly to Crimestoppers that leads to the recovery of the weapon and the arrest and conviction of those connected to the weapon.

Raheem, aged 19, was shot at Too Sharps's barber shop, in Gathorne Terrace, Harehills, on the afternoon of Thursday, January 26, last year.

He underwent emergency surgery at hospital but was pronounced dead later that day. A post-mortem examination found that he died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

A murder investigation was launched led by West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team into what was believed to be a targeted attack linked to the supply of Class A drugs in the area.

The investigation resulted in Keal Richards, aged 21, of Francis Street, Chapeltown, Jaydn Manners, aged 24, of Louis Street, Chapeltown, and Tremaine Wisdom, aged 29, of Stainbeck Road, Meanwood, each being convicted of his murder and given life sentences with a minimum term of 33 years following a trial at Leeds Crown Court in November last year.

The gun used to commit the murder is believed to have been a Russian-made Baikal Makarov 9mm pistol or similar.

Following analysis by experts at the National Ballistics Intelligence Service it is believed the same weapon may have been used in an incident in Chapeltown Road, Leeds, on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, where a number of shots were fired in the street in what was believed to be a targeted attack as part of a gang-related feud.

Those shots hit an innocent member of the public's car narrowly missing an eight-year-old girl who was a passenger in the vehicle.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Spencer, who led the investigation, said: "Raheem was murdered in cold blood in what was a targeted attack thought to be linked to the street-level supply of Class A drugs in the area.

"His family has been left completely devastated by his death in such sudden and violent circumstances at such a young age. The pain that their loss continues to cause them every day is very apparent.

"It is clear that we have a deadly weapon still out there that has been used to take the life of a young man and, in all probability, has been used before that to endanger to lives of innocent members of the public in the incident in May 2016.

"I am convinced that someone will know where that weapon has come from and where it currently is now and who is linked to it.

"This gun has absolutely no legitimate purpose in the hands of criminals and can only be used to endanger the lives of others or potentially put another family into the heart-breaking situation that Raheem's family continues to go through each day. We need to get it off the streets before it's used again.

"I believe the answers lie in the local community and I know that the law-abiding majority who live there will support our renewed efforts to locate this weapon and take it off the streets, and to find those connected to it and bring them to justice.

"Raheem may have made some unwise choices in his life that took him into a world of criminality but that can never excuse what happened to him. He was a son, a brother and a father to a little boy, and his family are having to go through every day without him in their lives.

"While three men have been convicted of his murder and given life sentences, we don't believe they were acting entirely alone. We believe there are other people who were involved in supplying the gun that killed him and the wider planning of the shooting and we are determined to see those people answer for their actions."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their secure online form athttp://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/

Callers can give their information anonymously and only information given to Crimestoppers will be eligible for the reward.

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