More suspects sought in car probe

Detectives investigating the deaths of three men who were struck by a car while guarding shops from looters are seeking further suspects, an inquest heard tonight.





Birmingham Coroner's Court was also told that the incident which led to the deaths of Haroon Jahan and brothers Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir was captured on CCTV.



Mr Jahan, 21, Mr Ali, 30, and Mr Musavir, aged 31, were all pronounced dead in hospital on Wednesday after being hit by a car in Dudley Road, Winson Green, Birmingham.



Detective Superintendent Richard Baker of West Midlands Police told today's half-hour hearing that officers had launched a murder inquiry after reviewing CCTV of the incident.



The senior investigating officer informed the Birmingham Coroner Aidan Cotter that officers were called to the scene at 1.20am on Wednesday and found three men lying on the road fatally injured.



Mr Baker added that a man had been arrested shortly after the incident, but had now been released on police bail.



But three other suspects - known to be a 26-year-old man and two youths aged 16 and 17 - remained in police custody, the court heard.



Giving further details of the police inquiry, Mr Baker disclosed that a second car had also been recovered which is believed to have been "in convoy" with the vehicle which hit the men.



Mr Baker told the inquest: "The offending vehicle was found 200 metres from the scene of the incident.



"That was completely burnt out.



"We are still actively seeking other people that we believe were in the vehicles."



A team of 70 officers is working on the inquiry and anyone with information about the incident or those travelling in the vehicles is urged to contact police.



Mr Cotter ordered that the men's bodies should be released for burial next Wednesday.



Mr Jahan, a mechanic, and Mr Ali, a self-employed car valeter, both died of severe spinal injuries, while Mr Musavir died of a head injury.



Adjourning the inquest, Mr Cotter added: "I understand that there is clear evidence, both from eyewitnesses and CCTV as to the circumstances in which these three men sustained these fatal injuries.



"Their injuries were so severe that there can't be any argument about whether death resulted from injuries they received from the car.



"Hopefully, the people responsible for the deaths of the three men will be apprehended, will be charged and will be prosecuted."



Speaking yesterday, West Midlands Police Chief Constable Chris Sims praised the father of Mr Jahan for making a public appeal for calm in the local community.



Tariq Jahan, who attempted to revive his son after hearing the car speed away from the scene, made an emotional appeal for calm to crowds gathered in Dudley Road on Wednesday evening.



Meanwhile, Mr Sims said his force would be relentless in its pursuit of anyone suspected of playing a part in the disturbances.



The police chief said: "With each passing hour we are identifying more suspects through our inquiries and as members of the public, appalled by the actions of this mindless minority, call our incident room with information.



"Throughout today and for days to come my teams of detectives will be carrying out arrest warrants at properties across the region to apprehend suspects.



"There is no place in our communities for violent disorder - and no place to hide for anyone foolish enough to get involved."

PA

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