Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Shot Girl Is Youngest Victim of Gun Crime in London

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Shot Girl Is Youngest Victim of Gun Crime in London

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Davenport and Benedict Moore-Bridger

A GIRL of five and a 35-year-old man were shot by teenagers on bicycles who fired indiscriminately into a south London shop.

The girl was hit in the chest in front of her distraught mother and the man was shot in the face. They were fighting for their lives today.

Both were innocent bystanders caught up in a row between two groups of teenagers. Two youths were pursued by three others wearing bandanas and riding bicycles last night. One of the boys on a bike -- armed with a silver handgun --fired a volley of shots at the pair as they cowered in the shop.

The girl, called Thusha from Ilford, was with her family visiting relatives who run the Stockwell Food and Wine store in Stockwell Road. She is believed to be the youngest ever victim of London gun crime.

Her uncle, Vicknes Mahadevan, 33, said her family were at her bedside at King's College Hospital. He told how his niece and his friend Seela were shot by masked youths firing into the shop at two other teenagers.

He said: "I was at the back of the shop then heard something. I rushed out and could see the shooting. Thusha was hit on the right side of her chest and Seela was hit at the top of his nose. There was blood everywhere. Thusha was flat on the floor. It was horrible." Sandra Rossetto, 45, said the child was awake as ambulance crew tried to stabilise her condition, adding: "One of them was stroking her forehead over and over. She was awake.

"They were pushing on her chest for about 10 minutes. There were a lot of people so they put up two red blankets either side to shield her.

"The other person was on the floor being treated. There was a lot of blood, you could tell it was serious."

The bullet that struck the girl went straight through her body but missed vital organs. Doctors are understood to have said her youth and the supple bones may have been a factor in her survival. …

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