'Think carefully' about protecting killers, says coronerDespite a £20,000 reward, police have yet to break the "wall of silence" around his killers
East London’s coroner has sent a message to those that know who killed a Walthamstow 16-year-old to “think very carefully” about their years-long silence.
On 2nd April, 2018, Amaan Shakoor was shot in the face with a shotgun just metres away from his Queen’s Road home in the car park of what is now the Walthamstow Leisure Centre.
He died at the Royal London Hospital the following day, while “one of his closest friends” Mohammed Asghar, then 15, was taken to Whipps Cross with a stab wound to the hand.
The two suspects who carried out the “tragic and cowardly attack” drove away in a white Hyundai, which police believe they found burned in Durban Road two days later. The shotgun was never recovered.
Two men were quickly arrested but police did not have enough evidence to bring criminal charges and, despite numerous appeals and a £20,000 reward offered last year, have yet to break “the wall of silence” surrounding Amaan’s killers.
Speaking at the conclusion of Amaan’s inquest earlier this month, East London coroner Graeme Irvine said: “Unless somebody comes forward and identifies who was responsible… the Met Police are rather fettered in what they can do.
“This does not mean this investigation is over, it simply means that, at the moment, they have exhausted all lines of enquiry.
“I’d be very grateful if anybody reading a report of this inquest thinks very carefully about whether they do have any information that would assist the police in the investigation of this horrific incident.
“I do not think we should lose sight of the fact that this was a young man about to embark on his life and clearly his family were very proud of him. There’s no evidence he was involved in criminality to any real extent.”
Addressing Amaan’s father Mohammed, he added: “The grace and dignity with which you and your family have carried yourselves through this investigation needs to be recognised, I do not know how you do it.”
Speaking to the press last year, Detective Chief Inspector Perry Benton said: “There were other people there when Amaan was shot and I’ve no doubt that even people who weren’t there know who was responsible.
“I understand that in some circles, it is seen as a betrayal of trust to talk to the police. But I would say to those people, some of whom were close friends of Amaan, that not doing so is an even greater betrayal.”
The inquest ruled that Amaan’s death was the result of “unlawful killing”.