A teenager was shot dead as he cycled through a car park in a suspected gang-related attack.
Witnesses told how children playing on the St Ann’s estate in Barking dived for cover after two shots were heard shortly after 7pm on Sunday.
Local police officers, firearms officers and paramedics found the 18-year-old victim with a gunshot wound to the head. He was taken to an east London hospital where he had emergency surgery, but he died at 10.25pm.
He is the third teenager to be killed in London this year.
The teenager is believed to have been cycling through the estate when he was shot in a car park. Today, a police forensics tent covered the spot where he fell to the ground. An abandoned bicycle lay nearby.
A witness said: “There were two shots, it was so loud. There were children on green space playing nearby and everyone dived for cover. It was really frightening. We just wanted to make sure the kids were all okay. There was an element of panic. We had no idea if a gunman was on the rampage or something.”
A neighbour said: “I heard the shots. I looked out and the guy was lying on his back. He was in dark clothes and I thought he was dead so I called the police. He had a bicycle next to him. There were about 15 young men around him. Then a woman tried to give him CPR before the emergency services arrived. It’s a tragedy.”
Another neighbour said: “The boy went along a cut-through alley. I heard he had been with other boys and they were chased as well. There is a lot of drug dealing and violence around here. It does not come as a shock, sadly.” Another local said: “We were in the garden and there were two loud bangs that rang out. We ran inside and took cover. It was really terrifying.”
One resident, a mother of two, said: “We heard the bangs and then there were sirens, police and ambulances everywhere. The paramedics were on the ground fighting to save his life. It was an horrific scene.”
A police cordon was in place around St Ann’s today as murder detectives and forensics officers scoured the crime scene for clues.
Police said a 20-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the shooting and that enquiries were continuing. The victim’s family have been informed and a post-mortem examination is due to be held within the next few days.