Shop shooting victim was 'innocent bystander'

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The Independent Online

A teenager shot dead when he was caught up in a suspected gang confrontation was named today as Ryan Bravo.

The 18-year-old died from a gunshot wound to the back as he shopped for groceries with his brother and cousin.

Detectives have not traced two black teenagers they believe were the intended victims of the shooting at a branch of Costcutter in Walworth, south east London.



Witnesses described how Mr Bravo was shot just inside the doorway of the convenience store at about 9.40pm yesterday.

Police said he was shot moments after two other black men of a similar age pushed their way into the shop behind him.

As the pair, who were believed to be trying to get away from someone, forced their way inside, several shots were fired.

Officers are hunting up to five male suspects who drove away on three mopeds in the direction of Boyson Road.

Those responsible may have been prowling the area for some time, possibly as they looked for their intended victims, police said.

Investigators were also probing whether the murder was linked to a shooting hours earlier on the Myatts Field North Estate in Brixton in which a youth was hit in the leg.

An Albanian man in his 20s was caught up in the Costcutter shooting as he tried to buy cigarettes at the shop.

The man, who lives nearby, said he heard up to four shots fired in the space of less than 10 seconds and added that he was lucky to be alive.

He said: "I was in the shop last night buying cigarettes and four or five guys ran in.

"I didn't think anything bad was going to happen because I thought they were joking and laughing.

"They didn't look scared or angry or anything. But then I heard shots, three or four. I've never seen anyone get shot before. It was like something out of a film.

"It was all over in about seven seconds. I just put all of my stuff down and ran out of the shop.

"A hysterical lady ran out after me. Two people ran out, got on mopeds and drove away. I'm lucky to be alive."

Detective Inspector Tim Carter, of Operation Trident, said officers have not traced the two men who were the intended target of the attack.

Speaking at the scene, he said the gunman and his accomplice were wearing motorcycle helmets.

Mr Carter said: "The victim, who comes from Lambeth, was walking down Camberwell Road with his brother and cousin and they made a stop a Costcutter to get some provisions on the way home.

"Two other black males barged past them into the shop and the victim was shot in the back.

"The shots were fired by two men on scooters, who then drove off.

"I would appeal to anyone who was in Costcutter at the time or anyone who may have witnessed the incident to come forward."

Forensic experts have examined what appears to be two bullet holes in the glass lower panels of a public telephone box.

The phone box, which is in front of a neighbouring carpet store, has been cordoned off by police.

The victim was the 22nd teenager to be killed violently in the capital this year. Sharmakke Hassan, 17, shot in Camden, north London, in May, was the last teenager to be shot dead.

Operation Trident is the unit which specialises in gun crime within London's black community.

Anyone with information is asked to call the incident room on 020 8247 4554 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

* A 19-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is being held at a south London police station.