The grieving mum of a 14-year-old London boy shot dead in broad daylight told how he was ‘groomed’ by gangsters to sell drugs.
Corey Junior Davis was gunned down from close range in a playground near his east London home last September in what is believed to be a turf war between rival gangs.
Corey – known to his family as “CJ” – died in hospital the next day, while a 17-year-old pal sustained “life-changing” injuries to his leg.
But there has not been a single arrest and police – who believe Corey may not have been the intended victim of the shooting – have now posted a £20,000 reward for information that leads to the conviction of his killer.
Speaking a year after she lost Corey in such brutal circumstances, his mum Keisha McLeod said: “Every day is a day without my son.
“I’m a mother first so when you wake up your instinct is ‘what to do for your child?’
“Knowing that I have not got my son to look after anymore, it’s not him that comes first … that’s one of the hardest things.
“I wasn’t ready to stop loving my son.
“As much as I am loving him wholeheartedly, I can’t physically put my hands on him or nurture him and watch the man that’s he’s supposed to turn into.”
The 40-year-old urged people to speak up if they had any information, “big or small”.
She said: “The thing I want to put in everyone’s mind is that this isn’t a normal situation, this isn’t a robbery or a kidnapping.
“This is something out of the ordinary, a child in the middle of the day in a park.
“That child could be anybody’s child.
“It so happened that my child chose to take a walk 10 minutes prior and saw somebody he knew and had a conversation.
“And now he’s no longer here.
“If you know anything in relation to that you have to speak up.”
Keisha acknowledged the wall of silence encountered by police investigating similar gang-related crimes.
But she said: “This is a child killer on the streets right now – we are not safe.
“The only way you can be safe from that person is by putting them behind bars.
“If you hold any information, be it big or small, why are you sitting on that?
“This could face your brother, your sister, your cousin, your niece, a member of your family.
“We are hearing all the time that another person’s been stabbed, another person’s been killed: I don’t want to hear these stories.
“I don’t want another parent to be sitting where I am and having to feel the pain that I feel on a day to day basis.
She spoke of how her son was being groomed by gangs before his death and they had forced him to sell drugs.
Keisha said: “I’m a hands-on mum: if there was a situation at school, the school could call me.
“He’s getting himself into different levels of misbehaving, I’m seeing certain traits that were not my son’s traits.
“I could see that he was being put in situations he wasn’t able to handle. I feared for him very very deeply.
“The person that I was raising wasn’t the person that was sitting in front of me.
“I had a situation where CJ called me because people had taken him to sell drugs and he phoned me and said ‘mum, these boys said I have to sell drugs until 8pm’.”
Keisha drove around the area until she found CJ.
She said: “We went to a very secluded area.
“I asked him what he had. He showed me what he had and I looked him in the eyes and said ‘if there’s ever a time in life that you should trust me, it’s now’.
“My son’s hands were shaking, this is a 13-year-old boy.”
She knew then she needed to get CJ out of the area, and spoke to police and housing to make that happen but they didn’t manage to get out before his brutal murder.
Keisha has been taunted on social media with drill music videos directly mentioning her son’s death.
But she branded the people who post them as “cowards”.
She said: “One of the videos said ‘I care not that your buried your son, I laughed when I saw you cry’.”
Keisha, although visibly upset, said it would not stop her from speaking out.
She said: “It blows my mind to think that I’m supposed to be scared now when they have taken my child.”
The Met Police today announced a £20,000 reward in the hunt for Corey’s killers.
Detective Chief Inspector David Whellams said the force was doing everything in its power to catch Corey’s killer.
He said he didn’t believe Corey was a target and it was “just very very unfortunate” he was caught up in it.
DCI Whellams said: “In my opinion this wasn’t a targeted attack on Corey.
“I think he was with a group of people associated with a particular area and the gunman was from another area.
“It’s just very very unfortunate that he came across Corey and his group of friends.
“They have come and opened fire indiscriminately and I think you’ll find Corey was the closest on when they got out of the car and that’s why he was hit.”
The car used in the murder has never been found and used cloned number plates.
Police are appealing for any information that would help them find the vehicle, a stolen Range Rover sport.