Man ‘accidentally shoots himself dead’ on London street after bullet ricochets off car

'You can see on the car window where the bullet bounced off it,' eyewitness says 

Corazon Miller@c0ra_z0n
Monday 09 September 2019 11:10
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Man died shortly after he was found with gunshot wounds in south-east London.
Man died shortly after he was found with gunshot wounds in south-east London.

A man is thought to have died after he shot at a car on a southeast London street and the bullet ricocheted back, fatally wounding him

The victim in his 20s died at the scene in Sydenham on Sunday afternoon, Scotland Yard said.

Witnesses in the area said it appeared the man had accidentally shot himself.

“He came to shoot someone else, but he ended up shooting himself," said a 56-year-old woman, who did not wish to be named. “The bullet bounced off a car window. You can see on the car window where the bullet bounced off it. After it happened, the boy he came to shoot stood there filming him.”

She said she had been stuck inside the police cordon for three hours since the shooting.

“He’s been there for three hours covered by a sheet. No mum, no dad. It’s really sad,” she said, adding there had been very few incidents in the 25-years she had lived in the area.

Two men drinking in a nearby pub heard one gunshot, but thought it was a car backfiring.

They said they had not heard any commotion before or after the shot.

One man, who did not want to be named, said: “We’ve heard three or four different stories – we’ve heard it was a guy on a moped, someone in a car and then that the (victim) did it to himself.”

A police tent in Sydenham Road, south-east London, after a man in his twenties was found with gunshot wounds

A shopkeeper on the high street said that he and his colleague had also heard the victim had accidentally shot himself.

“A group of guys were sitting in a car by the [Lloyds] bank and a big guy came up to them with a shotgun," he said. "They all got out of the car and ran so the guy decided to damage the car with the back of the gun. As he was hitting the windows the gun went off and he shot himself – that’s what we’ve been told.”

One resident in a flat overlooking the junction between Sydenham Road and Venner Road said she had heard the gunshot.

“It took almost three hours for the police to cover the body up, it’s disgusting,” she said.

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In response to the incident, Ellie Reeves, Labour MP for Lewisham West and Penge, tweeted: “Shocked and saddened to learn of the fatal shooting in Sydenham this afternoon. My thoughts are with the victim and their family. This violence has no place in our community.”

Mayor of Lewisham Damien Egan said on Twitter: “Terrible news from Sydenham this afternoon and my heart goes out to this young man’s family.”

London's Metropolitan Police said no arrests have yet been made and that a police presence remained at the scene.

Anyone with any information is urged to call police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Additional reporting by PA

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