Daniel Omari Smith shooting: Mother's plea over murder of innocent Queen's Park electrician nine years ago
PUBLISHED: 15:35 23 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:19 24 May 2019
The mother of a Queen's Park electrian gunned down in a case of "mistaken identity" this week pleaded for information on the ninth anniversary of his death.
Daniel Omari Smith was targeted outside KFC in Harrow Road, Paddington, on May 21, 2010.
The 22-year-old former Newman Catholic College pupil was on his way home from a date when he stopped off at the takeaway shop just after midnight.
As he returned to his car he was shot once in the back of his shoulder with the bullet travelling to his chest.
Police believe the intended victim had gone into the KFC shop minutes earlier.
Four men were acquitted of his murder at the Old Bailey in July 2012. A further eight people have been released with no further action.
His mother Winnie said: "Daniel was my light and life. He filled my heart with joy and was a son to be proud of. I am still very proud of Daniel. I miss him so much.
"He filled the gap in all our lives because he was there for all of us.
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"Daniel, like the rest of us, enjoyed family. Family meant everything to him."
His sister Cherrell, who he called hours before his murder, is getting married next year and the eldest of two nephews still talks about his "Uncle Dan".
"Moments like these are extremely hard and painful but they bring so much joy to our lives and that helps bridge the gap at times," added Winnie.
"What has bothered me so much for the last nine years is how people can live with their conscience knowing that we have never had justice and the people who killed my son, an innocent man, still walk the streets."
Appealing to those with information to come forward, she said: "I would like for you to free yourselves, your minds, your conscience, because I am sure, as hard as it has been for my family for nine years, it must be troubling for you too.
"Let's help to stop the suffering and pain that has been caused by these individuals."
Det Insp Justin Howick, of the Met's murder squad, said: "Our investigation strongly suggests that Daniel's murder was a case of mistaken identity," although he conceded: "Nobody deserves to be shot in the street."
Det Insp Howick added: "Witnesses who felt unable to engage with the investigation at the time may now feel more able to tell us what they know and ultimately provide some much needed peace for Daniel's family."
Call the incident room on 020 8785 8119 or anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.