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Friday, 30 September 2011

Teenage girl shot as she holds baby boy in her arms


teenage girl was shot in the street with two friends while clutching her baby son in her arms. Jessica Chrichlow, 18, collapsed to the ground alongside two sisters – named locally as Sammy, 17, and Alex, 19 – after being caught in the crossfire of a botched gangland attack, witnesses said. Police said it was “hugely fortunate” that the 11-month-old baby escaped injury. Detective Chief Inspector Mick Foote said: “It was a random, reckless act and we are fortunate we are not dealing with a fatal shooting here.” The three victims had been outside in John Fearon Walk, North Kensington, west London, enjoying balmy temperatures on Thursday evening when the attacker got off a bike and screamed “mother f****r” at the group, a neighbour, who did not want to be named, said. Police said the child may have been missed by inches as the bullet hit his mother. Mr Foote added: “I do not believe the girls were the intended targets. What’s particularly devastating is that the young girl was carrying a young child. This was totally unprovoked.” As a hunt was launched for several young men seen on bicycles on the west London housing estate on Thursday night, the officer said he was “working on the basis” that the shooting was gang-related. One neighbour said her 12-year-old daughter saw the shooting from her bedroom window. Jacky Cinesey said: “I have sent her to school in tears today. These girls were just outside enjoying the sunshine. It’s horrifying.” The girls had been enjoying the weather in a back garden when they began talking to a “large group” of boys outside, Mr Foote said. “It appears that a man on his own has gone towards the crowds and discharged a single shot from a shotgun,” he said. The gunman fled the scene and joined three other hooded males on bicycles, he added. Miss Chrichlow’s mother Isabel, who lives nearby, spoke only to confirm her daughter had been shot. Another local, Jenny Kantinda, 30, said she knew the three victims. “They were just sweet girls, we have had enough,” she said. Neighbour Leslie Arandi, 55, added: “The gangs are always cycling around here smoking drugs. I’m fed-up with it. Hopefully now the authorities will take notice.” Sammy has been discharged from hospital while the other two victims remain in a stable condition. The investigation is being led by Trident detectives, who deal with gang crime in the black community. Karen Buck, MP for Westminster North, expressed her concern as she visited the troubled Mozart Estate where the attack took place.


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