A teenager was killed in a shoot-out played out in front of security cameras like a western movie after years of murderous feuding between rival London gangs, a court heard today.
Mohammed Hussein, 19, a well-known member of the teenage ‘Get Money Gang’ (GMG) was blasted with a sawn-off shotgun after bitter rivals from ‘Dem Africans’ (DA) lay in wait for him inside a tower block, Kingston Crown Court was told.
The shooting on April 1 came two years after a 15-year-old member of the DA gang, Negus McLean, was stabbed and murdered on the street less than half-a-mile away. Tensions were running high on the night of the shooting with four members of Mr Hussein’s gang due to stand trial for Mr McLean’s murder a week later, a jury of seven men and five women was told.
“This case is a terrifying example of how cheap life is among teenage gang members in London,” said Simon Denison, QC, for the prosecution. “What happened was like something out of the old western movies, except it was not American fiction, it was reality, in a public car park in north London. And it was captured by a CCTV camera that overlooked the car park.”
Three men are seen walking out of the tower block, Walbrook House, in Edmonton, north London, to intercept Mr Hussein including the alleged gunman, the court was told. The victim had arrived on his rivals’ turf minutes earlier in a black BMW with two friends including one who was armed, the court was told.
In the silent footage played to the jury, Natneal Tesfay, 21, is allegedly seen pulling a sawn-off shotgun from a carrier bag before firing a shot at Mr Hussein, chasing him and then firing a second time. Mr Hussein, who lifted an arm to try protect himself, was shot once in the chest and left dying in an alleyway, the jury heard.
Alerted by the confrontation, an unidentified friend of Mr Hussein ran across the car park and pointed his own gun at the rival group but was ignored by Mr Tefsay and did not fire, the court heard. He ran back to the BMW with two defendants in pursuit and was driven away, the CCTV pictures showed. The BMW went around the block and pulled up close to where Mr Hussein’s body lay, but drove off as passers-by fruitlessly tried to save his life, the court was told.
The two gangs – based in neighbouring ‘turf’ in Enfield and Edmonton, north London – had fought for years with attacks, stabbings, and the murder of Mr McLean fuelling the violence. Earlier that night, members of the DA gang armed with a large stick chased a car carrying suspected members of GMG from close to the scene of the murder.
“The violent rivalry between the GMG from Enfield and the DA gang from Edmonton has had many victims. The violence was real. Mostly stabbings,” said Mr Denison. “These were teenagers or just out of their teens, inflicting such violence on each other for no reason other than that they belonged to the rival gang.”
Mr Tesfay, 21, who is alleged to have fired the gun; Christopher Aluma, 19; a16-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons; and Simeon Birde, 19, all deny murder.
The four, who live or have lived in Edmonton, north London, are known to be associated with the DA gang, the court heard. Police found a green hooded top with “RIP Negus McLean” at the home of Mr Aluma after he was arrested, the court heard.
Mr Tesfay is likely to claim that he shot at Mr Hussein in self-defence, the court was told.
“If two people take guns out onto a street and use them to shoot at each other, they are not defending themselves,” said Mr Denison. “They are willingly engaging in a gunfight. Self-defence in those circumstances does not arise.
“Only one person, Tesfay, pulled the trigger, but these four defendants acted together in obtaining the gun, and keeping it secure, and getting it into Walbrook House.”
A gun and 18 shotgun rounds were found in bags hidden in two different places close by in the days after the shooting, the court heard.
The case continues.