Detectives in Birmingham are investigating the murder of a man who was believed to have been shot in the back as he attempted to escape from his killers.
Police said they believed Nehemiah Bryce could have been gunned down after he was pursued by men in a black saloon car which was seen speeding away from the Newtown area where he was killed.
Officers were called to an address in Rodway Close, at the junction with New Croft, at 9.45pm on Sunday. They found Mr Bryce in an alleyway with "a number of gunshot wounds to his body". He later died in hospital.
Detectives outlined their investigation into the shooting at a press conference yesterday as Mr Bryce’s family asked for anyone with information about the events surrounding his death to come forward.
Mr Bryce’s mother Diane Johnson made an emotional appeal for information about her son’s death at West Midlands Police force headquarters. To her son's killer, she said: "Who gave you the right to take my son away from me? Whoever killed my son are murderers. You had no right, he was my son.
"Please come forward if you know who is responsible."
DCI Steve Bimson, who is leading the investigation, said police were keen to trace Mr Bryce’s movements from when he was spotted at New Street train station at 7pm until his death almost three hours later.
He said: "We need to establish as a matter of urgency Nehemiah’s movements leading up to the attack."
It is known that he was driving his car, a black Seat Ibiza with the registration SD06 ZRK, before the shooting, he said, adding: "That vehicle does have damage to the front. We need to establish where that damage occurred."
DCI Bimson said he was keeping an open mind on the murder. He did not rule out that he could have been pursued by his attackers in their car, before they gave chase on foot when he was cornered.
Police are also keen to trace a black saloon car, spotted leaving the area "at speed" after shots were heard.
DCI Bimson said: "That vehicle could have damage to the front or the rear."
The attack was "not random" police believe, but a motive has not yet been established.
DCI Bimson said: "This was an absolutely horrific attack. Why that attack has taken place I am not in a position to say at the moment, but feel that there was some pre-determination, some planning.
"This was an area Mr Bryce visited on a regular basis. I believe he had relatives there. It wasn’t a random shooting. Nehemiah was there for a reason and the offenders clearly wanted to kill him for a reason."
"It is difficult to say whether is was a chance visit or if he had been lured into the area by the offenders, who did show some perseverance in trying to get to Nehemiah."
DCI Bimson said that Newtown was a safe area and that shootings of this nature were extremely rare.
He also said that officers had been liaising with the community and increasing street patrols to ally residents’ concerns.
The detective thanked the community for their understanding after a large police cordon was erected in the area folowing the shooting while forensic examinations were carried out. He said door-to-door enquiries would continue.
Mr Bryce’s younger sister Lauren Bryce, 24, urged the community to "not be silent" over the shooting. His elder sister Naheelah Bryce, 28, described Mr Bryce as: "Polite, respectful, never in any trouble of any kind and loved by all who knew him."
She added: "Sadly our family will never function again in the same way. A young man’s life has been cut short."
Anyone with information is urged to call officers in the Major Investigation Unit on 0845 113 5000 and ask for Operation Activating, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.