Blundering youth shot himself on Haverstock Hill

A 21-year-old man who was critically injured in a shooting in Chalk Farm last Thursday shot himself by accident, the Ham&High can exclusively reveal.

Reports of the gun crime, which happened on Haverstock Hill, close to the junction of Prince of Wales Road at around 9.40pm, have shocked residents living in the area.

But it has now emerged that the youth, who is understood to be part of Swiss Cottage’s notorious ‘Sin City’ gang, was the only person hurt after inadvertently setting off a handgun in his pocket.

It is believed that he had originally been driving around looking to target a member of the rival Queen’s Crescent gang.

However, the loaded weapon shot a bullet straight into his own leg – putting paid to his violent plan.

Another youth, who was accompanying the hapless thug on his mission, called 999 for help.

Police and paramedics arrived at the scene to find the injured man lying on the footpath next to his car.

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He was then taken to a central London hospital where doctors operated on his leg. He is said to be in a stable condition.

In the aftermath of the shooting many residents have spoken of their fears about rising levels of violence in Camden.

At a community police meeting on Tuesday, Haverstock councillor Matt Sanders said: “My email inbox is full today of people who are very concerned. Old people are frightened about going out on the street and that worries me. It is very difficult to know what a gang is but it is important to encourage inter-generational contact between younger and older people. It is critical inreassuring the community.’’

Camden Police have pledged to step up patrols in a bid to clamp down on violent incidents.

Superintendent Raj Kohli said: “Whilst we remain open minded as to what exactly happened that led to the injury, the fact remains that the carrying and use of weapons is wholly unacceptable.

“Serious youth violence will be tackled head-on and we will utilise all opportunities and all resources to protect young people from becoming victims of crime.”