"we have now charged people in connection with Aya’s murder"
The drive-by shooting of Aya Hachem in Blackburn shocked the UK. Five people have now been charged with her murder.
Miss Hachem, a second-year student at the University of Salford, had been walking home after shopping at Lidl in King Street at 3 pm on May 17, 2020, when she was hit by a shot from a passing Toyota car.
The first of two shots fired hit a building, however, the second hit the 19-year-old in the chest.
Emergency services were called to the scene but Miss Hachem sadly died in hospital.
Feroz Suleman, aged 39, of Shear Brow, Blackburn and Abubakir Satia, aged 31, of Oxford Close, Blackburn, have been charged with murder and attempted murder.
Suleman is the boss of RI Tyres firm in Blackburn which has three branches including one in King Street.
Following an application by Lancashire Police, a closure order was issued for the business for up to three months.
Several others were also arrested.
Two men aged 33 and 36 were arrested on May 18, on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. They were released on bail pending further enquiries.
A 39-year-old man from Blackburn was arrested on May 20, on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. A 34-year-old man from Blackburn was arrested on May 21, on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. They both remain in custody.
On May 22, police arrested a 22-year-old man from Blackburn on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. He remains in custody.
Detective Superintendent Andy Cribbin, of the Force Major Investigation Team, said:
“While we have now charged people in connection with Aya’s murder, our enquiries are very much on-going.
“I would like to thank all those who have come forward to assist with our investigation so far and to continue to encourage people to come and speak to us if they have information.”
Police charged three more people on May 22.
Uthman Satia, aged 28, of Oxford Close, Judy Chapman, aged 26, of St Hubert’s Road, Great Harwood and Kashif Manzoor, aged 24, of Shakeshaft Street, have been charged with murder and attempted murder.
The murder charge relates to Aya Hachem and the attempted murder charge relates to Pashar Khan, the man police believe was the intended target.
Miss Hachem’s parents paid tribute to her as the “most loyal devoted daughter” who “dreamed of becoming a solicitor”.
They said: “We are absolutely devastated by her death and would like to take this opportunity to plead with any members of the public who may have any information however small that may bring those responsible to justice.
The five suspects appeared at Preston Magistrates’ Court on May 23.
It was heard that the allegations were so serious that they could only be heard at the crown court and no applications for bail could be made.
The five were remanded in custody and will appear at Preston Crown Court on May 27, 2020.