Forest Gate shooting: Mum of Corey Junior Davis appeals for help from public
PUBLISHED: 13:10 03 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:03 03 October 2017
The grief-stricken mother of a 14-year-boy who was shot in the head says his killer must be brought to justice.
Keisha McLeod, 38, has spoken publicly for the first time about losing her “funny, caring and handsome” son Corey Junior Davis in a bid to break the “wall of silence” surrounding his death.
“This is the worst feeling a parent could ever feel,” she told the Recorder.
“My son did not deserve this death, he hadn’t had a life yet, he was still being a child.
“The perpetrator must feel guilty. That’s the way I see it. You must. You cannot live with this.”
Corey, known as CJ, was hit by up to 100 shotgun pellets from behind shortly after 3pm on September 4 next to a playground in Moore Walk, Forest Gate.
The youngster, who had been staying at his grandfather’s house nearby, was instantly felled while his 17-year-old friend received potentially life-changing injuries to his leg after he was shot.
Relieving the moments of that day, Keisha said she was plunged into a living nightmare when her father, Neville McLeod, Facetimed her from the scene to deliver the news.
“I said, ‘Dad, what are you talking about?’” Keisha said, before a nearby police officer confirmed what had happened.
The frightened mum rushed to King’s College Hospital thinking: “Please don’t be in the head, please don’t be in the head”.
CJ was rushed in moments later by paramedics to a cordoned-off area surrounded by armed police.
Keisha was then told of her son’s devastating injuries by a group of doctors and warned “to be prepared” when seeing him.
She said: “I saw blood on his face - but his eye and half of his head was covered.
“I couldn’t see what was wrong. I touched his hand and it was warm, and I said ‘Hello baby.’”
Doctors tried to reduce the swelling in CJ’s head but the single mum knew something was wrong when surgeons came back 90 minutes into a five-hour operation.
“They said he’s stable but we’ve realised there is no blood running to CJ’s brain and when we took off his skull, his brain started expanding and crumbling away.”
Dumbfounded that her son was brain dead, Keisha, her 23-year-old daughter Roshane Newman, and other family members prayed for a miracle.
Sadly, the worst was yet to come. “The following day it just got real,” said Keisha.
After CJ failed a series of tests, including the ability to breathe unaided, the family were left with little hope.
“I had to come to terms that I was going to lose my baby,” Keisha said, sobbing. “That was the hardest thing in my whole entire life, the most horrible thing I’ve ever had to do.”
When the moment came to turn off the life support machine just before 10pm, something unexpected happened.
Keisha said: “CJ put his hand up and my cousin let out a big scream. My dad tried to put down his hand and he went and put it higher and it stayed there for a while and then he put it down.
“It was like he was saying bye and then his chest went up and down, and I knew he was gone.
“But when I knew he was gone, I was at peace. I stopped crying then.”
The family now have to come to terms with the loss of their dance-loving son, who one day hoped to be a mechanic.
Keisha believes CJ was not in a gang although she acknowledges he was vulnerable and at risk from older gang members, so was trying to distance him from the environment.
She is urging anyone with information to come forward and help catch those responsible.
“My pain is real, my pain could turn into someone else’s pain,” she said. “It will be somebody else’s pain if we don’t stop this.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 020 8345 3775 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.