The grim, brutal and genuinely evil reality of the UK’s teenage gang culture has been laid bare as two teenagers are set to spend the rest of lives in a tiny cell after a teenager was shot in the back as he tried to run away from his murderers.
On 26th November, a 15 and 19-year-old were found guilty of the cowardly murder of another 19-year-old after they repeatedly shot him in the back with a shotgun.
The gunman was aged 19 and his co-conspirator just 15 when they murdered Abdul Xasan in a cowardly drive-by killing in Coventry earlier this year. The shooting took place only yards away from a nursery that was full of children.
Mr Xasan – himself just 19-years-old – was gunned down as he walked along Harnall Lane into Adelaide Street in Hillfields just after 2.30 pm on 13 March.
A post mortem examination on the teenager’s body revealed he suffered two gunshot wounds to his back which caused catastrophic internal injuries.
He died alone, on the cold pavement.
The shooter and his child getaway driver made off in a VW Golf Type R that had been stolen in Rugby the previous day.
The killers then arranged for others to set it on fire in an attempt to destroy forensic evidence.
But it was not long before armed police came crashing through their family homes and held them both a gunpoint.
West Midlands Police detectives quickly identified the duo as potential suspects, and both were arrested in the early hours of the next morning at addresses in Coventry.
Both of the murder suspects were electronically tagged at the time due to their suspected involvement in other offences.
Officers seized tagging information that showed they were in the street at the time of the murder. And yet they still denied any knowledge of what had happened.
Ballistics experts also matched shotgun cartridges found in the burned-out car that was used in the callous shooting to spent cartridges recovered from the murder scene.
Despite the overwhelming evidence against them, the teenagers denied the cold-blooded murder.
But thanks to the meticulous work of murder detectives and following a four week trial at Birmingham Crown Court, the pair were found guilty.
The jury found the gunman, now aged 20 and from Longford, unanimously guilty and reached a majority verdict on the boy, now aged 16, who is from the Stoke area of Coventry.
They will be sentenced on 22 December; both will receive custodial life sentences.
For legal reasons, West Midlands Police are unable to name the killers at this stage.
The offenders were linked to the C2 gang in Coventry while the victim – who’d been arrested just days before the murder for possessing an imitation gun – was connected to a rival group known as RB7.
Detective Chief Inspector Scott Griffiths led the investigation.
He said: “There had been ongoing tensions between the two groups, including firearms discharges, in the lead up to the murder.
“What happened was outrageous: a shotgun fired several times in a public street in the middle of the afternoon. It happened not far from a nursery.
“Other people not connected to either gang could easily have been injured.
“It’s a really tragic case and a stark reminder of the consequences of getting drawn into gangs. One young life has been lost and the lives of two others, including a young child, have been utterly ruined.
“We can help people who want to turn their backs on gang culture.
“Along with our partners, including charities and support groups, we can help young people make better choices.
“But for those who insist of affiliating themselves to violent gangs there is a very strong possibility they are going to be seriously injured, killed or spend much of their life locked up in jail.”
Watch the moment when the killers opened fire on their victim:
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