Detectives investigating the murder of 17-year-old Tanesha Melbourne-Blake in Tottenham in 2018 have linked the gun used to kill her to another murder.
Forensic tests on the bullet recovered from her body have shown the same handgun was also used to kill another local victim, Joseph Williams-Torres.
Detective believe it was a “gun to hire” circulating in the local area for at least a year.
Joseph, 20, died on 14th March 2018 on Essex Close in Walthamstow, in a case of mistaken identity. His three killers were jailed for life last month and the handgun, a Czech-made Browning with its serial number removed, was found wrapped in a towel inside a bag by a member of the public on Tudor Close N6 on 19th May 2018.
Tanesha was with friends when she was shot from a vehicle on Chalgrove Road, N17 shortly before 21:35pm on 2nd April. Tragically she did not survive the attack and died at the scene.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil John, Specialist Crime, said: “Fortunately this very dangerous weapon is now off the streets but we believe it was a ‘gun to hire’ in the local area from at least May 2017. It killed two people and we know it was also used in three other crimes.
“We believe those who shot Tanesha are involved in separate gang activity and she died as the result of ongoing territory disputes in the area. Tanesha had no links to gangs whatsoever.
“I understand that people may feel concerned about coming forward in these circumstances but we will treat all information in confidence. I strongly believe there are people in the local community who know who killed Tanesha and I would urge them to come forward.
“It is almost two years since Tanesha was murdered but regardless of the passage of time we remain relentless in our search to bring her killers before the courts.”
Tanesha died just 13 weeks before her 18th birthday. She regularly attended Bruce Grove Youth Space, volunteering to become a mentor to other young people and was hoping to become a qualified youth worker. Friends and colleagues described her as having a “bubbly personality” and someone who “lit up a room”with her presence.
The vehicle used in the shooting was a grey/silver Vauxhall Meriva people carrier with blacked out rear windows and the registration number KS56 NKG. Detectives know it was parked under Martlesham House on the Broadwater Farm Estate between Thursday, 22nd and Sunday, 25th March 2018. Officers don’t know where it was kept or used between 25th March and Tanesha’s murder on 2nd April.
The suspect who fired the shots is described as a black male with a “slit or two in his left eyebrow”, probably a pattern shaven in. He wore blackclothing, including black gloves.
The Vauxhall Meriva was found burnt out at Ludgrove Court on Fordham Road in Barnet on 7th April 2018 – detectives think it was left parked somewhere after Tanesha was shot.
Tanesha’s mum said: “I just want people to come forward to say what they know, it’s heart-breaking. Tanesha was innocent and had lots going for her, a lot of goals and dreams. Everyone at the youth club loved her and it broke a lot of the children’s hearts, up till now they can’t believe what’s happened. Tanesha was not somebody who got herself into problems. She had friends
all over, she was always a peacemaker.”
There have been five arrests made so far as part of the investigation.