Second assassination in six months on Suburb doorstep

HAMPSTEAD Garden Suburb has been rocked by a second execution-style killing on its doorstep in less than six months.

A young man in his 20s, who had not been formally identified as the Ham&High went to press, was shot in his car on Saturday morning in Tillingbourne Gardens, a quiet residential street barely 100 yards from the borders of the Suburb.

It follows the murder of Kosovan businessman Nezir Golaj, 45, on July 8 this year. He was gunned down near his home just off Hendon Way, less than two miles from the scene of Saturday’s shooting.

At this stage it is believed that the latest assassination was carried out by two suspects on a motorbike who approached the victim’s car at around 6am and fired shots through the window before riding away from the scene.

The Met’s Det Chief Insp Jacqueline Sebire, who is leading the investigation, said: “We are eager to hear from anyone who was near Tillingbourne Gardens at around the time of the murder.

“Despite it being early in the morning, this is near to the Holiday Inn on the North Circular Road and it is possible someone may have seen or heard something suspicious but has not spoken to police.”

A post-mortem examination on Saturday gave the cause of death as gunshot wound to the head.

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Liberal Democrat councillor for Childs Hill, Cllr Jack Cohen, said his first reaction was one of shock. He said: “I have been 25 years on the council and in all that time this is unheard of. It’s something that nobody would ever think would happen in leafy Barnet. It’s the second shooting this year within two miles. It’s the cold blooded aspect that is so shocking.

“It does seem the number of killings in Barnet is on the increase and there must be a reason for that.”

His colleague, Cllr Monroe Palmer, called for calm and urged Suburb residents not to panic.

He said: “As sad and deplorable as these incidents are, two killings do not make a crime wave. In the north west of London we are more vulnerable to burglaries.”

Currently there have been no arrests. Anyone with information about the shooting should call 020-8358 0200 or to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800-555 111.