The grieving mother of a man who was shot dead eight months ago is pleading for the local community to come forward and help catch his killer so that the family can have closure.

Ruth Thomas, mother of 20 year-old Rowan Thomas-Williams who was shot while celebrating a birthday party in Mulberry Court in Elgar Avenue, Neasden has put out an appeal eight months after her son's murder.

She said: "The loss of my son is heart wrenching, words can not explain just how bad I feel. Rowan was my first born, we had that special bond, and he is and always will be my baby boy.

"I am still in shock and always will be. Rowan has been taken away and will never return. I believe that there are members of the local community who have information about what happened that night. I would plead for these people to come forward and tell the police. As a family we need closure, although this will never bring Rowan back I need to know why I will never see my son again."

Police say that Rowan was shot on Friday, December 6 last year, his friends took him to a nearby hospital but there was no accident and emergency unit there so an ambulance was called, he was pronounced dead later that day, the post-mortem revealed that he died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Ms Thomas added: "Rowan's loss is not only felt by me, but also his father, his children and his younger sisters. Rowan was only a young man when his life was taken. Rowan had his whole life ahead of him. He was at the age where he wanted to build a future for himself and his children.

"Rowan would visit me regularly; he was going to go to university to study media in the hope of having a career in music."

Detectives are offering a reward of up to £20,000 leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of the person or persons responsible for the murder.

Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn of the Homicide and Major Crime Command said: "This was a callous and brutal murder and Rowan's mother and wider family have been left completely devastated.

"If you have any information please do not remain silent, anything we do receive will be treated sensitively and in the upmost confidence."

On Friday, December 6 last year, three men and a woman were arrested on suspicion of murder. 

No further action was taken against the four although one of the men was re-arrested and has since been bailed pending further enquires to a date in January next year.

A fourth man was arrested on suspicion of murder, and was bailed pending further enquires to a date in January next year.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the incident room on 0208 721 4805 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Man died after gun shot to the chest in Neasden on Friday