'Why me?': Mother of teenage shooting victim in Liverpool wants to face son's killer

The mother of a Liverpool teenager shot dead six years ago has said she wants to face his killer.

Yusuf Sonko, 18, was shot in the head in Tagus Street in Toxteth, at about 8.30pm on Friday 2 June 2017.

He was one week away from completing his A-Level exams.

Eight men have been arrested and remain under investigation in connection with the killing, while another man voluntarily attended a police interview. No one has been charged with his murder, a Merseyside Police spokesman said.

On the sixth anniversary of his death, his mother, Khadija Sonko, 45, said she needs to "face the person and ask him why. Why me? Why Yusuf?"

"Eighteen years is too early, you don't even let him enjoy his life. It's just wicked," she added.

Believing there are people who know more information about her son's murder, Mrs Sonko pleaded: "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."

The shooting was one of five which happened within a week in Merseyside. Mr Sonko was one of three people murdered in Liverpool during June 2017 in unconnected attacks.

'Why don't they stop?'

Last year, there were five fatal shootings in the area - including the murder of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel, in Dovecot.

Mrs Sonko said she cries for the mothers of other victims, as it brings back memories of her own son's murder.

"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," she said.

"If I hear somebody's child's been murdered I cry. I say, 'Again? Again? Why don't they stop?'

"I don't think any mother should be going through what I am going through."

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The investigation into Mr Sonko's death remains open, with a £20,000 reward on offer by charity Crimestoppers for anonymous information that leads to the conviction of those responsible.

Police believe Mr Sonko may have been shot as part of a dispute between rival groups of males in and around the Lodge Lane area.

But the teenager, who hoped to study business or engineering, is thought to have only appeared on the periphery of one of those groups in the weeks before the attack.

Detective Inspector Sarah Wilkinson appealed for anyone who witnessed the shooting - particularly if they saw groups of young males running in the Lodge Lane area just before 8.30pm on the night, or saw two males on pedal bikes nearby - to get in touch.