The mother of a personal trainer gunned dead outside his home believes he was killed in revenge for helping convict a gang of rapists.
Abraham Badru, 26, was shot in the chest in Hackney, east London, on March 25 as he was on the phone to a friend while looking in the boot of his car for a drink.
His mother has told journalists that she thinks his killing was revenge after he saved a teenage girl from being gang-raped and went on to give evidence against her attackers despite receiving threats.
Police have stressed that this is just one line of inquiry into Mr Badru’s death, which may have been a case of mistaken identify, but Ronke Badru said she believed “in my heart” that it was the motive for the attack.
Mr Badru was 14 when he witnessed an attack at a party in 2007 and intervened to help the victim.
He was threatened by the culprits but went on to give evidence at court and nine people were convicted, one of whom was jailed for life.
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The Liverpool fan received a Metropolitan Police Bravery award in 2009 for his actions but the intimidation left him “scared for his life” so in 2009 he moved to Bristol, aged 16, to study for his A levels and later a Btec and masters degree.
He returned to London to look for work in 2016 where he bumped into one of the attackers, now released from prison, in a nightclub and his car was later vandalised.
Abraham asked to be moved away out of Hackney borough but, believing that his housing application would be rejected, began saving for his own home.
His mother, 50, said: “I was like ‘who would choose to do this to Abraham? Who has he offended to that extent to take his life away?
“He was a very peaceful man, he wasn’t violent at all. A very respectful boy and a loving child. He loved everybody and was always at peace with everyone.”
Police, who returned to the scene of the murder on Wednesday – a month after the killing – say Abraham’s killer, who may have been lying in wait, was riding a white bike.
He is believed to have emerged from an alleyway, shot Mr Badru twice then escaped via another alleyway.
A reward of £20,000 is on offer for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the murderer.
Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh said: “Abraham was an ambitious and talented young man who had everything to live for. He did not deserve what happened to him and his family do not deserve the torment they are suffering now.
“We are now a month on and every day his family have to live knowing that the person who did this is still out there. Someone knows who killed Abraham; I have said the answer lies in the community and I still believe that.
“If you are reading this and you want to contact us but are concerned about your safety, I can assure you that your information would be treated in the strictest of confidence and sensitivity. Help us do the right thing and bring justice to Abraham’s grieving family.”
Officers want to trace four people who were near the scene but have not yet come forward and Mr McHugh said they are particularly keen to hear from anyone who saw a male cycling in the area around the time of the murder on a white bicycle.