Gun victim was carrying out drugs deal

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The Independent Online

A man shot dead on an estate last week was carrying out a drug deal when he was killed, police revealed.

Richard Long was gunned down in Haymarket Road, Lewsey Farm, Luton, last Tuesday night after he was chased by several men.

A murder probe was launched but yesterday, a week after the killing, police renewed appeals for any information about his death.

Det Ch Insp Steve Collin, from Bedfordshire Police said yesterday: "It is a week today that Richard Long was shot dead in Haymarket Road in Lewsey Farm, Luton.

"His death has left a family in despair. Three children have lost their father and a wife her husband.

"There are people out there who can help solve this murder. Some of them may have already made their minds up about Richard as a person and be choosing not to help us.

"If that is the case, we are here to try and change their minds."

He said Mr Long was 22, unemployed and had three children - the youngest just a year old.

Mr Collin said: "While it is hard for his family to understand and accept, we know that Richard was involved in drugs and on the night of his death was attempting to carry out a drug deal.

"His friends and associates were involved in drug dealing and of course with that lifestyle comes risk.

"On the night that he was shot, we believe Richard met a black man with whom he intended to do business with and it was during this encounter that events went tragically wrong."

Mr Collin said Mr Long was in Lewsey Farm with other men in a small hatchback car, which drove into Haymarket Road where the 22-year-old got out.

He said he was then chased, stumbled over the railings that fence the recreational area, and while lying on the ground was shot.

"This was a brutal killing in a public area," he added.

"We firmly believe that the person responsible for Richard's murder is local and will be known by this community.

"My plea here today, along with Richard's wife who has bravely come forward to help us, is to appeal to those people to come and talk to the police.

"People who deal in and use drugs have mothers, sisters or wives. It is they who I appeal to today. Your loved one could be next, don't let this happen to you."

Four people have so far been arrested for drug offences in relation to the incident, but police said they have been unable to identify the murderers so far.

Mr Collin said the suspect is described as a black man in his 20s wearing baggy dark clothes.

He said detectives are also looking for two other cars in the area, a white car and a silver hatchback.