'Masked gunmen' on run after drinks company boss shot dead in robbery bid


Two murder suspects remain on the run after a company boss was shot dead during an attempted armed robbery in which his business was specifically targeted.

Akhtar Javeed was found fatally wounded in the street following the shooting at Direct Source 3 Ltd in the Digbeth area of Birmingham, West Midlands Police said.

The 56-year-old was the director at the soft drinks distributor, and died in hospital shortly after police were called to the scene by someone inside the warehouse in Rea Street South at 6.40pm on Wednesday.

The suspects, who were said to have been two masked men, remain at large and are believed to have used a getaway vehicle.

Superintendent Andy Parsons confirmed the alleged gunmen sought out Mr Javeed's business specifically.

He told reporters at the scene: "It's early stages of the investigation but at this moment in time we believe this was a targeted attack at Mr Javeed's premises and the purpose of that attack was a robbery.

"There were a number of staff members in the premises at the time. We are working with them this morning both in terms of trying to understand what they can offer in terms of evidence but also offering support because, as you can imagine, it was a hugely traumatic incident.

"We don't understand what was the motive of that attempted robbery. But everything we understand at this moment in time indicates it was very specifically aimed towards Mr Javeed's premises."

He said the type of firearm will be determined after forensic testing.

Mr Parsons added: "Officers and paramedics gave immediate first aid to assist Mr Javeed, who was rushed immediately to hospital where further medical assistance was provided.

"Tragically, however, Mr Javeed was pronounced dead a short time later. The thoughts are with the family of Mr Javeed."

A post-mortem examination has been arranged as part of the murder investigation.

Police remain at the crime scene, with roads cordoned off.

Detectives have asked witnesses to come forward and help identify the two suspects.

John Lamb, spokesman for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: "People are working away, hard, to keep businesses going, so it's awful when something like this happens, particularly in these tough times.

"Unfortunately it's getting more and more prevalent.

"Our condolences of course go out to him and his family, friends and employees."