Harlesden shooting: 'Innocent bystander' shot dead with 'high-powered' weapon in London

Police describe attack 'as a shocking murder with multiple shots fired from what is believed to be a high-powered weapon'

A man has been shot dead at point-blank range with a "high-powered weapon" on a street in north-west London.

The victim, in his late 20s, was gunned down on Wednesday night in Harlesden.

Reports on social media suggested the murder was related to local gangs while friends of the victim said he had been could in the crossfire of two rival gangs.

“They shot him from point-blank range," a teenager who had been in the nearby cash and carry told the Evening Standard. "They were going slowly at the time and then sped off down the street. The car had tinted windows so you couldn’t see inside.

Another man who heard the shots said it looked like a case of "mistaken identity": 

"I was relaxing watching TV when I heard about six shots like a machine gun," Vinod Patel, a local builder, told the Standard.

“I went outside and saw people running towards him. He’d been shot in the chest and stomach but was still breathing. 

The gunman is believed to have fled the scene in a car and no arrests have been made, the Metropolitan Police said.

Detective Inspector Andy George, who is leading the investigation, said officers believe the shooting was witnessed by "a number of people".

He said: "This was a shocking murder with multiple shots fired from what is believed to be a high-powered weapon.

"My team are undertaking a number of active inquiries to trace the vehicle involved and its passengers. Forensic work at the scene is ongoing."

Pictures posted online claiming to be of the scene showed a man lying on the ground with a second man appearing to go to his aid.

Police arrived at the scene of the shooting in Church Road, at the junction with Conley Road, shortly before 10pm and found a man with gunshot injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

PA