“He was just such a character, such a wonderful guy."
Hassan Tasleem, aged 23, of Dudley, has been charged with murder following the fatal shooting of a taxi firm manager.
Mohammed Haroon Zeb, who managed Midland Taxis in Brierley Hill, was shot as he returned home from work just after 12:35 am on January 31, 2021.
The 39-year-old was taken to hospital but tragically died.
A murder investigation was subsequently launched and his cousin, Shaz Saleem, said that Mr Zeb was about to open his front door when he was shot.
He said at the time: “He was a beautiful soul, people loved him. It didn’t matter how you felt… that man could make you laugh out of nothing.
“He was just such a character, such a wonderful guy. It’s so sad that everyone he knew is crying.
“The police are working incredibly hard but we believe in them and we know they will bring these people to justice.
“It was a cowardly act. If anyone has any information, please do come forward.
“This shouldn’t be happening in our town – it’s absolutely scary and ridiculous that we have got gun crime in Dudley.”
Mr Saleem also led tributes to the taxi firm manager.
Detectives had urged those with information to come forward. Detective Inspector Laura Harrison previously said:
“A man has lost his life and this is a deeply distressing time for his family and friends.
“We will be working round the clock to establish who was responsible for this tragic death and try to understand why it happened.
“I would urge anyone with information to get in touch as soon as possible.”
Now, police have charged Tasleem with Mr Zeb’s murder.
Tasleem was arrested on February 10, 2021, and was charged the following day.
He appeared before Wolverhampton Magistrates Court on February 12, 2021.
Detective Chief Inspector Jim Munro, of West Midlands Police‘s homicide team, said:
“This is a significant development in what is still a very active investigation.
“This remains an extremely difficult time for Mr Zeb’s family and we’re determined to get answers and justice for them.”
As part of the investigation, a 26-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Three men, aged between 19 and 26, were previously arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.
They were all released on bail.
A 37-year-old man was previously arrested on suspicion of murder. He has since been released and no further action was taken.
Anyone with information which may assist our investigation is urged to contact us via Live Chat, or by calling 101. Quote 20DY/28354Z/21. Alternatively, ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.