A Manchester teenager gunned down in a betting shop five years ago was the victim of unlawful killing, a coroner ruled at an inquest into his death today.
Louis Brathwaite was shot while inside the William Hill betting shop on Mauldeth Road West, Withington, on January 29 2008.
The 16-year-old died from his wounds in hospital 12 days later – but his killer has yet to be found.
Detective Chief Inspector Howard Millington said: “Louis’ family continue to wait for the justice that we are desperate to give them and while this inquest ends the coronial process, it brings us no closer to that goal.
“More than five years have passed since Louis was gunned down in cold blood and we remain as resolute as ever to identify this callous killer.”
Despite gathering a strong picture of the events that occurred on the night of Louis’ death Police are still searching for additional information.
“The cold hard facts remain that the person responsible went into a crowded shop, indiscriminately opened fire and killed a 16-year-old boy,” DCI Millington said.
“Louis’ family remain devastated by the void left in their lives following his death and I would urge anyone with information to think about their pain and suffering and contact us in absolute confidence.
“There remains on offer a reward of £50,000 for that person who has the courage to stand up against his killer and help ensure justice is done.”
Louis’ death in February 2008 occurred during a period in which 146 firearm discharges were registered by Greater Manchester Police: 55 of which were gang-related.
This figure has been gradually reduced over the last few years with figures for 2012/13 down to 32, only two of which are gang-related.
“It is almost four years since the last fatal gang related shooting and since April 2010 there have been just six gang related firearms discharges,” said DCI Millington.
“Despite our success we will not and cannot get complacent. While there are weapons on our streets there is always a threat to individuals and the wider community and that is why we will continue to work tirelessly towards our ultimate goal: gun-free streets.”
Picture courtesy of Nolene Dowdall, with thanks.