Man faces life in prison in joint venture murder of London drill rapper 16Shotz

A man has been convicted of killing a drill music performer who drove a stolen car into rival gang territory in South London, crashed it and attacked a rival rapper with a ‘giant knife’.

On Wednesday, a jury found 29-year-old Darius Kwakye guilty of the murder of 20-year-old Salem Koudou, better known on the streets of South London under the drill name 16Shotz.

The trial at the Old Bailey was set against the backdrop of a violent war between gangs who used drill music to incite and intimidate their rivals and to brag about their violent deeds.

Two other men, Donte McCullah and Tristan Bullock, both 21, were acquitted of murder charges.

Brock’s older brother Yacine, 20, was convicted of murder in an earlier trial.

On August 20, 2020, Koudou and two other members of the Stockwell-based All ‘Bout Money (ABM) gang were found in a stolen VW Golf where 150 gang members were celebrating their birthday. Brixton’s Angell Town property has been burgled. Rapper Tyreicke Williams, known as Stickz.

Golf crashed into Kwakie’s Mercedes car and flipped over, and two other men who came with Kodoh escaped. I believe the person was armed with a gun.

Armed with a Black Panther machete with a 45cm serrated blade, Koudou got out of the overturned car and chased Williams, stabbing him.

However, KC prosecutor Oliver Glasgow said that Kudu’s “table had turned” as up to 15 young men began chasing him, driving him out of the compound, crossing the main Brixton Road and driving him into a dead end. ‘ said.

Kwakye, McCalla and Tristan Bullock were among nine men identified in CCTV footage as following Koudou onto Wynne Road, but the actual killing was not caught on camera. .

Glasgow told jurors: His lungs, liver, and stomach were damaged by the knife used to stab him, and the blade was wielded so ferociously that some of the wounds were 14 cm deep on him, and others were wounded. wounds damaged bones in his ribcage and one passed through his skull. ”

Glasgow said the ABM and the 150 Gang and their ally 410 “enjoyed provoking and attacking each other when given the opportunity”, adding that “Salem Kudu was killed on 20 August 2020.” It was intended that the day would certainly provide such an opportunity,” he added. But… his plan didn’t work out the way he had hoped.

Among the facts agreed upon in the incident was a drill music video released on September 17, 2020, in which Yaseen Bullock was called a “flickknife pro.”

homicide under joint venture

All three defendants were indicted on the basis of joint ventures, a controversial legal protocol in which critics say more than 1,000 were wrongfully convicted of murder. claim to be.

Last month, the Center for Crime and Justice Studies announced that report “In the decade leading up to 2020, 1,000 people were convicted of murder or manslaughter as secondary suspects,” it said, adding, “Those from minority communities, particularly black communities, have been identified in joint enterprise prosecutions. “It’s consistently overrated.”

At the start of the trial, Glasgow told jurors:This is the central controversy of the case and is likely the extent to which any of the defendants were involved in the attack. [either as an attacker or as a willing supporter] You can decide. ”

During the trial, all three men presented evidence, admitting that they had chased Koudou, but denied that they had intended to harm him.

Asked by barrister Jenny Dempster, KC why he followed Koudou, McCullah said: I was curious and wanted to know what was going on. ”

When asked why he drove Wynn Road, he replied:

Tristan Bullock also denied that he was merely an interested bystander and that he would help the killer by moving the post office truck to stop Koudou from escaping.

At one point, Bullock said, “I stood and saw it like a witness saw it,” referring to a woman who gave evidence during the trial.

He also declined to name several others who were caught on camera but have not been identified by police.

In January 2023, two other men are scheduled to go on trial on charges of involvement in the street killing.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Chris Summers


Chris Summers is a UK-based journalist with a wide range of national coverage, with a particular interest in crime, police and law.