‘Young father’ shot dead and two wounded outside primary school

Stunned witnesses have told of the moment a gunman opened fire on a car outside a primary school, leaving a 23-year-old man dying in the street.

The shooting in St Vincent Street, in the Ladywood area of Birmingham, near the city centre, left residents feeling “sick” and in shock.

Violence unfolded at about 5pm on Tuesday, yards from the windows of classrooms at St John and St Peter’s CE Academy school, where children had been studying a couple of hours before.

On Wednesday, a blue tent was thought to be covering the car the victim was said to have been sitting in, along with two other men, when the attack happened, opposite a row of shops.

Another dark sheet could be seen next to a tree by a low wall 20 metres away from the tent, where it is thought the victim collapsed.

One woman described how another vehicle pulled up by the car, and “pow, pow, pow – a succession of shots” rang out.

Marie Deehan said: “A car came down the road and they had the window down and they started shooting.

“The guy who got killed, he ran as if to jump the wall I was standing in front of.

“They were firing from the car, and they come out the driver’s side.

“It seemed like there was multiple shots, like a pow, pow, pow – a succession of shots.

“He ran towards the shops, towards the chemist and then he was down.”

Cordon
A police cordon at the scene (Richard Vernalls/PA)

She described the three attackers as male and wearing balaclavas and said the other car appeared to have been struck by at least one bullet.

Miss Deehan said she had not slept overnight after what she had seen.

“I know him, he was never in trouble, and he always said hello,” she said.

“He’s got a very young baby, a few weeks old. I feel so sick – he always says hello.”

She added that she came across another man, who had been in the same car as the victim, sitting down behind nearby buildings, trying to stem the bleeding from a head wound.

Police have said two men, aged 19 and 20, were taken to hospital for treatment, but their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Another woman, who had collected her daughter from the school that afternoon, said she was standing at a nearby bus stop when there was a shout of “someone’s been shot”.

The mother, who declined to be named, said: “I took my kids back to the house and then we came running to see.

“He (the victim) had been shot in his side, from what I saw, and he was lying there by the tree.

“People came out of the shops to help, and they were trying to stop the blood.”

She described the victim as a “quiet, calm boy”, who had just celebrated the arrival of a baby a few weeks previously.

The woman watched an air ambulance land on the school playground as emergency services arrived quickly on the scene.

She said: “Just a few minutes earlier, I had been stood outside Granny’s (takeaway) and talking.

“I just thank God it happened when the kids were at home. You can imagine that earlier, how many kids were at the chippy.”

The shooting happened in a busy area of Ladywood, near a community centre, the shops and the school, which was closed on Wednesday.

A spokesman for All Saints Multi-Academy Trust, which runs the school, said staff would be in touch with parents with further information on when it would be reopening.

West Midlands Police said a post-mortem was due to be carried out on the victim, and inquiries were continuing.

There have been no arrests and witnesses are being asked to come forward.

The fatal shooting comes three years after 18-year-old Kenichi Phillips was shot dead in nearby St Mark’s Crescent, in March 2016.

Two men were jailed for life for their roles in the expectant father’s murder.

In 2017, police officers on an anti-gun crime operation had their unmarked vehicle fired at in a nearby street.

It is the second fatal shooting in Birmingham this year, after 28-year-old Remal Hunt was shot in Erdington on April 18.

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