Five-year-old girl 'died twice' in shooting that left her paralysed

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The Independent Online

A five-year-old girl was "happily playing" in a shop when she was hit by gunfire and left permanently paralysed, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

Thusha Kamaleswaran died twice as medics battled to save her life following the shooting at Stockwell Food and Wine in south London in March last year.

Three men with their faces partially covered "circled" on bikes outside, before one opened fire. They were searching for rival gang members but hit "two completely innocent bystanders", prosecutor Edward Brown QC said.

A bullet passed through Thusha's body and an emergency team had to carry out "invasive surgery" at the scene to restart her heart, jurors at the Old Bailey heard. The little girl went into cardiac arrest for a second time at King's College Hospital but was again saved by emergency surgery.

However, her injuries caused paralysis and she will never walk again.

A 35-year-old shopper was also hit during the shooting. Had the wound been centimetres to one side he would have died, jurors were told.

Kazeem Kolawole, 19, Anthony McCalla, 19, and Nathaniel Grant, 21, deny causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Thusha and the shopper Roshan Selvakumar.

Opening the prosecution case, Mr Brown said that Thusha and Mr Selvakumar were "remarkably lucky" to survive. The case continues.