Moment car explodes into a fireball in attempt to destroy evidence of a murder

·3-min read

Watch: Moment car explodes into a fireball after being torched in attempt to destroy evidence of a murder

Video footage of a car exploding like a "fireball" after being used for a drive-by shooting has been released by police.

CCTV shows Otis Collier, 20, and an accomplice running from the blaze after setting alight a Volkswagen Golf that had been used in the fatal shooting of Abdul Xasan in Coventry on 13 March 2020.

Police also obtained footage of Xasan being gunned down in broad daylight by members of a rival gang in the rear seats of the stolen VW.

He suffered two gunshot wounds and died in the street from catastrophic internal injuries.

Otis torched the vehicle just hours after the killing, but police found shotgun cartridges in the burned-out shell which ballistics experts matched to spent cartridges recovered from the murder scene.

In November 2020, getaway driver Riaz Ahmed, 15, and 19-year-old Carren Monga – who fired the fatal shots through the Golf’s window – were both jailed for life.

Monga was armed with a pump-action shotgun when he shot Abdul at point-blank range.

Enquiries revealed Collier agreed to meet Ahmed shortly after the shooting. Officers then traced phone calls between Collier and Ahmed before the car was set on fire at around 8pm that night.

Collier had claimed the pair had a conversation about the sale of a bike, but shortly after the car was torched.

The burnt out car was found with bullet shells in the boot (West Midlands Police)
Despite the Golf being destroyed, forensics officers found the remains of shotgun cartridges inside the burnt-out car. (West Midlands Police)

Images in a folder named “for my eyes only” were found on Collier’s phone containing photos of two men in balaclavas inside the stolen VW Golf that were taken just minutes before the car was destroyed.

Collier, from Coventry, denied assisting offenders but was found guilty by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court on 29 June. He was jailed for four years, a sentence that will run consecutively to nine years he is already serving.

Detective Sergeant Steve Parkes, who ran the investigation, said: “Collier was trying to help two gang members get away with murder: he plotted to try and destroy vital evidence.

“Ultimately he failed. Despite the destruction of important forensic evidence, police scientists were able to link the remnants of shotgun cartridges from the Golf to those recovered at the scene.

“We put a compelling case to a jury that led to Ahmed and Monga being jailed for life, and now Collier will also spend several years behind bars.

“Anyone who associates themselves with gangs risks being killed or seriously injured, or spending much of their life behind bars."

Otis Collier was caught on camera torching the vehicle just hours after the murder (West Midlands Police)
Otis Collier was caught on camera torching the vehicle just hours after the murder. (West Midlands Police)

During their trial, the court heard Monga and Ahmed were linked to the C2 gang in Coventry, and conspired to kill Xasan who was connected to a rival gang known as RB7.

Video footage shows Ahmed stop the car yards from Abdul to allow Monga to shoot the victim from the passenger window. The clip shows three puffs of white smoke coming from the weapon.

Getaway driver Ahmed then chased the terrified victim around the corner - just yards from a nursery - while the gunman fired again.

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He sped away from the murder scene in the Golf Type R which had been stolen in Rugby, Warwickshire, the previous day.

He and Monga were arrested in the early hours of the next morning after officers raided their home addresses in Coventry.

Both were electronically tagged at the time due to their suspected involvement in other offences – and tagging information showed they were in the street at the time of the murder.

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