Khadija Sonko, the mother of a young man who was shot dead in Liverpool six years ago, has expressed her desire to confront her son’s killer. Yusuf Sonko, aged 18 at the time, was fatally shot in the head on Tagus Street, Toxteth, around 8.30pm on June 2, 2017. He was only a week away from completing his A-Level exams. Since then, eight men have been arrested and remain under investigation in connection to the murder, while another man voluntarily attended a police interview. However, no one has been charged with Yusuf’s murder, according to a Merseyside Police spokesperson.
On the sixth anniversary of her son’s death, Khadija Sonko, 45 years old, said she needs to “face the person and ask him why. Why me? Why Yusuf?” She added, “Eighteen years is too early, you don’t even let him enjoy his life. It’s just wicked.” Believing that there are individuals who possess more information about her son’s murder, Sonko urged them to come forward, stating, “Why do you have to make me suffer with my family and keep the secret? This is not snitching. This is a murder case, snitching and a murder case are completely different. If you keep that information to yourself then you are wicked, you have got a wicked heart.”
Yusuf Sonko’s shooting was one of five that occurred within a week in Merseyside. He was one of three people murdered in Liverpool during June 2017 in unrelated attacks. Last year, there were five fatal shootings in the area, including the tragic death of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Dovecot. Khadija Sonko shared her empathy for the mothers of other victims, saying, “I cry for them. Even though I don’t know who the mother is, I cry for them because I know what I’m going through, it never goes away. It’s always there.”
The investigation into Yusuf Sonko’s murder remains open. Crimestoppers, a charity, is offering a £20,000 reward for anonymous information leading to the conviction of those responsible. Police suspect that Yusuf may have been shot as part of a dispute between rival groups of males in and around the Lodge Lane area. However, the teenager, who aspired to study business or engineering, is believed to have only been on the periphery of one of those groups in the weeks preceding the attack. Detective Inspector Sarah Wilkinson appealed for any witnesses of the shooting, especially those who saw groups of young males running in the Lodge Lane area just before 8.30pm on the night, or two males on pedal bikes nearby, to come forward.
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