Killers 'were involved in looting'

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The Independent Online

Detectives investigating the murder of a man shot dead during the London riots believe his killers were actively involved in looting and robbed at least two people on the night of his death.

Trevor Ellis, 26, of Brixton Hill, south London, was found at about 9.20pm on Monday in a vehicle in Duppas Hill Road at its junction with Warrington Road, Croydon, police said.

Officers arrested a 27-year-old man in Sutton yesterday afternoon on suspicion of murder. He is the fifth person to be held in connection with the killing.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Hutchison, who is leading the investigation, said he believed that those responsible for Mr Ellis's murder engaged in looting and rioting in the area.

He said: "Trevor Ellis was murdered on a night where Croydon, and in fact London, saw unprecedented levels of violence and disorder.

"I believe his killers were actively involved in looting and responsible for robbing at least two people that night.

"They thought nothing of arming themselves with a gun and ultimately taking a young man's life.

"Leaving four young children without a father. I want anyone who was in central Croydon that night who saw this group or may have images of them on their cameras or phones to contact police."

The 27-year-old suspect was today being questioned in custody in a south London police station, Scotland Yard said.

A 26-year-old man detained on Friday afternoon in connection with the death has since been bailed until mid September.

He was arrested at an address in Mitcham, south London, by police supported by armed officers from CO19.

Mr Ellis was taken to St George's Hospital with a gunshot wound to his head, and was pronounced dead on Tuesday. A post-mortem examination showed he died from the head injury.

A 24-year-old man also arrested in connection with the murder has been bailed to return on September 12 pending further inquiries.

He was detained by Metropolitan Police officers in Brighton on Thursday.

A Scotland Yard spokesman previously said initial inquiries suggested Mr Ellis had travelled to the Croydon area earlier on Monday with a group of friends.

"It is believed the group became involved in an altercation with a group of approximately nine individuals," he said.

"This altercation culminated in a vehicle pursuit involving three vehicles which commenced in Scarbrook Road, Croydon, passing along the A232 flyover into Duppas Hill Road where the victim was shot."

Detectives are appealing for anyone who witnessed the pursuit involving a dark estate car and silver hatchback - believed to have been driven by the group of nine - and a dark hatchback, in which Mr Ellis was a passenger.

Meanwhile, a 33-year-old man was arrested yesterday on suspicion of causing a fire which destroyed the Reeves Furniture store during rioting in Croydon on Monday, Scotland Yard said.

The man is the fourth person to be arrested in connection with the blaze which destroyed the family-run furniture store, which has stood in the south London suburb for more than 100 years.

The man has been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life and burglary, a police spokesman said.

He is being questioned at a south London police station.

A 21-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy who were arrested earlier this week have been released on police bail.

A 25-year-old man who was arrested on Wednesday was later released with no further action to be taken.

Violence erupted in Croydon on Monday night after two nights of trouble in other parts of the capital.