CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Agar Grove shotgun attack: victim suffers head wound as witnesses duck for cover

Victim was "alive, but bleeding like crazy," says witness

24 August, 2017 — By William McLennan

Officers with automatic weapons patrolled the estate in the aftermath 

ARMED police locked down a housing estate after a man was shot in the head on Tuesday night.

It is believed the victim was fired at twice with a shotgun in the car park of the Agar Grove estate, but avoided fatal injuries.

Witnesses described the young man removing his t-shirt to stem the flow of blood from a head wound, before “diving” into a car and being driven away.

He made his own way to hospital, where his gunshot wounds were treated. A white Mercedes, which was not involved in the shooting, was damaged by the shotgun blast.

Officers carrying automatic weapons swamped the scene shortly after 7pm and closed off the area, refusing to let anyone come or go.

Plain-clothes officers drove through the estate when the New Journal was at the scene, but there was no visible police presence less than 24 hours after the shooting.

A car was damaged during the shooting in the Agar Grove estate carpark

One woman, who witnessed the aftermath of the gun attack, said she “heard two loud bangs, screaming and a screeching of brakes”.

She added: “I looked outside and saw a man had been shot in the head. He was alive but bleeding like crazy. He then dived in a car with two other young lads and they drove off. It looked like it got him near the eye or the ear. You could just see blood all down his chest.”

She added: “There’s often people hanging around there, but you don’t expect to see guns on your street.”

Another resident, who was also alerted by two loud bangs he at first thought were fireworks, said: “I went to the window and saw the guy who’d been shot come running towards me and the car screeched off. I ducked down behind the window, thinking they were going to shoot again. They’re obviously not the best shot and it could have gone anywhere.”

The man, who did not wish to give his name for fear of reprisals, said the estate car park had become a regular scene of drug deals and anti- social behaviour in recent months. The layout of the car park, with only one vehicle entrance, but multiple exit routes on foot or bicycle, meant it was the “perfect environment”.

He said that regular patrols by police had tried to deter groups from congregating in the car park, but added: “The police are doing their best and really ramped up patrols, but before they even turn up they’ve already legged it. It’s like a game of cat and mouse.”

He said: “I’d said to my flatmate: ‘It’s only a matter of time before something serious happens’.”

Earlier this year three men needed hospital treatment for bullet wounds after a shooting that was believed to have been the result of a confrontation between rival gangs that began in Agar Grove.

It came a few weeks after a young man was stabbed in nearby St Paul’s Crescent.

Asked about fears of a rising level of violence, Detective Inspector Will Lexton-Jones, of the borough’s gangs unit, told the New Journal in May: “I recognise that there has been a recent and isolated issue there, but I don’t accept it’s a backslide. I’ll acknowledge there’s been incidents recently, but I don’t attribute that to any sort of trend at this stage.” Scotland Yard said no arrests had been made following Tuesday’s shooting and the firearm had not been recovered.

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