The graduate son of a leading Nigerian politician was shot dead near his family’s London home in the latest round of bloodshed in the capital.
Abraham Badru, 26, who was given a police bravery award as a teenager for saving a woman from a sex attack, was gunned down in the street in Dalston, Hackney, just after 11pm on Sunday.
Mr Badru, who worked as a football coach after earning his Masters degree in 2015, was found slumped on the pavement by police called to reports of a loud gunshot.
He was pronounced dead a short time later. His mother, who had rushed to his side, was seen by witnesses collapsed in tears on the pavement.
Mr Badru’s father Dolapo Badru, 62, is a member of the Nigerian House of Representatives, the country’s 360-seat equivalent to the House of Commons. He told the Standard his “quiet and hard-working” son once saved a young woman from rape on the estate and later gave evidence which led to her attacker being jailed.
He said: “A few years ago a girl was raped on the estate and Abraham fought them off. He went to court to testify against them and the police gave him an award.”
Friends paid tribute to Mr Badru as a “bubbly and outgoing” young man who was “making a life for himself” after completing his studies.
They said he had a fiancee in Nigeria and had volunteered with the Team Nigeria UK football coaching charity, and had been due to coach at an open trial in Charlton today.
A volunteer said: “He’s such a wonderful guy full of life and very hard-working.”
Mr Badru had previously worked with Bristol council as a sport development officer, according to his LinkedIn profile and had interned at non-league Gloucester City FC during his degree studies at the University of Gloucestershire.
In a statement, his former club Almondsbury FC, near Bristol, said: “The club are shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of former striker Abraham Badru.
“We would like to send our thoughts and prayers to Abrahams family during this difficult time.” Neighbours said Mr Badru had been to church earlier that day and was getting out of his car when he was shot.
One neighbour said: “As soon as I heard the bang, I knew it was a gunshot. I went to my balcony and saw a man slumped over on the ground at the back of a car.
“There was just one shot and a cry of pain. No speeding scooter and no speeding car.”
Another said: “His mother came out and saw him on the floor. It was terrible listening to her collapse crying on the floor. She was just screaming.
“Everyone was very upset and I had to go away, I couldn’t take it. It happened on our doorstep and I had to say a little prayer for the family.”
A schoolfriend added: “He had just finished studying a masters in sport at university. He was a bubbly guy and worked so hard. We went to the same church as kids.
“His mother is a devout Christian. I’m lost for words. I just cannot believe it. He was the nicest guy, very happy and outgoing.”
A police cordon remained in place in Ferncliff Road this morning as detectives continued to investigate the shooting.
Mr Badru’s mother was being supported by family members at the her home, around 100 yards away. The family were too upset to speak this morning.
A neighbour said: “They are a lovely family, church going and loving. Everyone is stunned this could happen to Abraham.
“He was a gentle, respectful young man and I pray for his family who are in pain right now.”
The murder is the third in Hackney this year and comes as 19 young men under the age of 25 have been killed in the capital in 2018.
Detective Chief Inspector Larry Smith, from Scotland Yard’s murder squad, said: “We are appealing for information so we can establish the circumstances which led to a young man losing his life.
“Anyone with information who hasn’t yet spoken with us should come forward without delay. Your call will be treated in the strictest confidence.”
There have been no arrests.