GANGSTERS in one of Britain’s most notorious shootings are still at large 20 years on.
Friends Charlene Ellis, 18, and Letisha Shakespeare, 17, died in a bungled drive-by shooting as they left a party.
Charlene Ellis, 18, and Letisha Shakespeare, 17, died in a drive-by shooting as they left a party in 2003 in BirminghamCredit: Chris Eades
The Sun today reveals a never-seen-before photo of Charlene taken hours before her death
Charlene’s twin Sophie survived but was struck in the crossfire and said: ‘I recall seeing a red car driving very slowly’ – pictured the gunmen’s carCredit: Collect
Four of their killers were jailed for life. Charlene’s twin Sophie survived despite being struck in the crossfire in Aston, Birmingham, early on January 2, 2003.
Sophie told The Sun: “There were more people involved and they haven’t faced justice.
“Witnesses never came forward because of a mix of fear of their lives and not trusting the police.
“I’m disappointed more never came forward.
“But they should realise that the police made sure the so-called untouchable were touched.”
The twins’ cousin Cheryl Shaw, then 17, was also injured. Sophie added: “I recall seeing a red car driving very slowly then I just fell.
“The people who committed this crime aren’t in the cemetery or have to visit one.”
Sophie’s mum, Bev Thomas, added: “The police did a great job in securing the convictions. But I do believe there are people out there.
“I have to read it, dream about it and cope with it daily for life.
While four of the murderers were jailed for life, some gangsters are still at large 20 years on – pictured late LetishaCredit: Newsteam
‘Still shocking and tragic today’
“This time of year is really difficult. I see the empty chair. I just wish the calendar would jump to mid-January.”
Charlene and Letisha were struck by bullets from a MAC-10 machine-gun capable of firing 1,000 rounds a minute.
The Sun today reveals a never-seen-before photo of Charlene taken hours before her death.
She is glammed up in a hat, leopard-print top and trousers.
Her assassins were targeting Jermaine Carty, part of the Johnson Crew, who had provoked the fury of bitter rivals, The Burger Bar Boys.
In 2005 killers Marcus Ellis, 24 — a distant relative of Charlene — and Michael Gregory, 23, of Birmingham, plus Nathan Martin, 26, and Rodrigo Simms, 20, of Smethwick, were given life with a minimum of 35 years.
Yesterday West Midlands Police said: “The deaths are still as shocking and tragic today as they were 20 years ago.
“In June 2019, a renewed application for permission to seek a Judicial Review was refused by the Divisional Court. We will always act upon any new information we receive.”