Three men have been jailed for life after being found guilty of the murder of Cole Kershaw in Bury last August.
Cole, aged 18, was shot once in the chest following a pursuit between two vehicles on Chesham Road on the evening of Wednesday 12 August .
Today Kamran Mohammed 20, Mohammed Izaarh Khan 22, and Khayam Ali Khurshid 29 – all from Bury – have each been sentenced to life after being found guilty of Cole’s murder.
Manchester Crown Court heard how Mohammed, of Kingsdale Close, fired the fatal shot from a .22 caliber pistol that struck Cole once in the chest while he was running away from a silver BMW that was pursuing him and his friends.
The court was told that Mohammed, Khan, and Khurshid were all occupying the BMW chasing the Ford Mondeo that Cole and four others were in.
Two shots had been fired while the BMW was pursuing the Mondeo, and a fatal third shot was discharged after Cole and his friends got out of their car and attempted to escape.
The incident occurred following a dispute between Mohammed and a friend of Cole, and the court heard that the target of the shooting was Cole’s friend, rather than Cole himself.
At 9.30pm that night, police were called to a report of a number of shots being fired but sadly, despite the best efforts of emergency services, Cole passed away in hospital a few hours later that night.
Over 350 hours of video footage, including 75 CCTV cameras, were meticulously viewed through the course of the investigation, and over 250 people were spoken to as part of the operation – codenamed Landseer.
An extensive manhunt was immediately underway for the gunman behind the murder and officers eventually located and arrested Kamran Mohammed a fortnight later at an address in Rochdale.
Khan, of Palace Street, handed himself in at the front desk of Bury police station two days later following the execution of an evidence warrant at his home address.
Khurshid, of Eton Hill Road, was arrested in the Netherlands after fleeing the UK to escape police. A European Arrest Warrant was executed in Amsterdam and he was arrested by Dutch officials in the city centre.
All three men were charged and, after a five-week trial at Manchester Crown Court, unanimously convicted by the jury of Cole’s murder and
Gunman Mohammed was sentenced to serve a minimum term of 27 years; Khan was handed down 24 years; Khurshid will serve 27 years.
Raheem Hall 19, of Hardfield Street, Heywood, had previously pleaded guilty to assisting an offender and was sentenced to four years in a young offender’s institution.
Investigators were able to prove Hall was in the BMW earlier in the day, and was contacted by Mohammed and picked up again after the shooting had taken place.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Butterworth, Senior Investigating Officer for Operation Landseer, said: “Today’s result is some justice for Cole Kershaw’s family and loved ones who have experienced the most unbearable period of time since he was tragically killed last summer, and then have to relive it all over again through the course of this trial.
“It has been our priority from the outset to bring those responsible to account for their cowardly actions that night, and today we can say that we have succeeded in our endeavour.
“This has been a painstaking investigation where hundreds of hours of CCTV have been reviewed and many witnesses were spoken to as our detectives pieced together the events of the evening, and ultimately proved the involvement of the four men who are now behind bars.
“All incidents involving the use of weapons are unacceptable, but the fact that a young man was murdered with a firearm on the streets of Bury is particularly shocking.
“Cole was hit by the last of three shots that were fired, and on a summer’s evening when young children were out playing on the street this incident could so easily have involved other young innocent members of the public and caused misery for their families too.
“It is therefore so important that these men are now locked up, and my thoughts will tonight remain with Cole who was taken away from his loved ones far too soon, and his family who will continue to grieve his loss but I hope that the answers they have now been given will help bring about some closure.”