A MAN who died after being shot following a car chase in Edinburgh was the son of an imam at a mosque in the capital.
Police named the victim as 25-year-old Mohammed Omar Abdi. His father, Omar Abdi, is the second imam at the Central Mosque in Edinburgh’s Potterrow.
Mr Abdi snr was not at the mosque yesterday, but police spent several hours talking to staff at the building.
Police have said they are looking for six black men following the incidents. They are believed to be from rival gangs.
In the early hours of Sunday, a three-car chase ended in Willowbrae, Edinburgh, where one of the vehicles crashed. Subsequent gunfire left Mohammed Omar Abdi fatally injured. A second man with injuries was later found nearby.
A high-profile police presence involving some 20 uniformed officers will be based in Willowbrae until the end of the week to reassure residents and speak to witnesses.
However, it is believed that some of the gang members, thought to be a group of Somalis, have already fled the city and gone down south.
Staff at the mosque did not want to speak publicly but said they were saddened by what had happened.
It is not clear if Mr Abdi jnr attended the Central Mosque, but staff in the neighbouring café described his father as a “very nice man”.
Members of the mosque said they learned of the connection to the shooting on Sunday evening and added that the family would be in their prayers.
Police were keen to speak about their presence in Willowbrae yesterday, but remained tight-lipped about the wider investigation.
However, drugs is one line of inquiry being pursued.
Officers have said there were a series of related incidents involving the two groups of black men culminating in the gunfire.
There were believed to be three or more vehicles involved, including a blue Volkswagen Sharan, which crashed into railings in Abercorn Crescent, a silver vehicle, possibly a Fiat Punto, and a black saloon car.
Mr Abdi jnr was found fatally wounded in Abercorn Crescent while the second man was discovered, with non-life-threatening injuries, in a garden in nearby Paisley Crescent.
He had not been shot and police have not said whether Mr Abdi jnr died from bullet wounds.
Detectives have dismissed reports of a Yardie connection to the killing and, despite the high-profile police presence in the area, insist the gunmen do not pose a threat to residents. Chief Inspector Mark Patterson said: “There is absolutely no evidence to suggest Yardie involvement.
“There’s no evidence to suggest they pose a threat to the public.
“The premise we are working on is that the individuals were all known to each other.”
He said the 20 or so uniformed officers in the Willowbrae area would continue until the end of this week.
Mr Patterson went on: “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to those who live and work in the area for all of their assistance, patience, support and understanding while the cordons were in place. They can rest assured that Police Scotland is working tirelessly to find those responsible and bring a sense of normality back to the area.
“We remain keen to speak with anyone who saw anything suspicious in the general area surrounding Abercorn Avenue and Paisley Crescent in the early hours of Sunday morning or who saw vehicles travelling at speed or being driven erratically.
“Anyone who believes they have information that can help with our ongoing investigation, and who has yet to speak with our officers, should contact police immediately.”
On Twitter, people spoke of their shock at the killing and the identity of the victim.
Adiza Shardow wrote: “just heard that guy I knew who was killed in a gang related attack my thoughts are with his family RIP Abdi I am left speechless.”
Someone calling themselves Mr Rolla wrote: “I knew there was a shooting yday half of Willowbrae got closed & was so busy but didn’t know it was someone I knew that got killed Rip Abdi.”
Mmn Rhmn posted: “Wow in shock! Posted about a shooting in edinburgh yesterday. But had no idea it was a brother I knew #RIPAbdi #Shocked.”