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Second shooting rocks St John's Wood

PUBLISHED: 10:39 13 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:18 07 September 2010

POLICE chiefs have vowed to work with the community to stop the rise of gun crime after two shootings rocked St John s Wood in the past fortnight. Two teenagers were shot on an estate on Tuesday night barely a week after a gangland-style shooting in a bus

POLICE chiefs have vowed to work with the community to stop the rise of gun crime after two shootings rocked St John's Wood in the past fortnight.

Two teenagers were shot on an estate on Tuesday night barely a week after a gangland-style shooting in a busy restaurant on St John's Wood High Street.

Just after 9pm on Tuesday (July 6) gunshots rang out on Ainsworth Way, close to Boundary Road, leaving two teens with leg wounds.

A third teenager was pistol whipped in the attack, and was also rushed to hospital. None of their injuries are believed to be life-threatening.

It follows the terrifying incident on June 26 in the Harry Morgan diner in St John's Wood High Street when a gunman brandishing two pistols burst in and opened fire.

Det Supt Peter Newman, of Westminster police, said his force has responded to the incidents by increasing patrols and holding consultations with local residents.

Chief Insp Louis Smith, head of community partnerships for Camden, said his team were also taking urgent action to step up policing.

He said: "Around the scenes we're increasing patrols for reassurance. In Rowley Way we have a dispersal zone that we will be enforcing much more rigorously.

"It may not be directly related to gun crime but it is related to anti-social behaviour, which can easily escalate."

Speaking of Tuesday's attack, a Met spokesman said: "It appears one of the victims has told police they were sitting on the estate when they were approached by a group of men in masks who asked 'Who is A.S.A.?' and then started shooting the victims with a silver handgun."

So far no arrests have been made, but police are appealing for information. Residents on the estate have been in discussions with Westminster Council about making the area a dispersal zone.

Ainsworth Way resident Charlie Hedges said: "We've had a couple of instances of people hearing guns going off now. We are worried about it."

A pensioner, who asked not to be named, heard Tuesday's attack.

She said: "We heard two bangs. The police closed the road off and we saw them taking somebody away on a stretcher - it was terrible.

"This estate has got really bad - it's nothing like it used to be when we moved here 50 years ago."

Pop star Rachel Stevens and BBC reporter Hugh Pym were among the stunned innocent bystanders at the restaurant in St John's High Street two weeks ago.

Diners ducked for cover and two people received gunshot wounds to the leg in the attack. One was a 15-year-old boy eating with his family and the other a 31-year-old man.

Police have released their first descriptions of the two men suspected of carrying out that shooting.

They are both described as being of slim build and wore dark coloured clothing. One wore a long-sleeved hooded top, with a mask covering his face up to his eyes.

He is described as being between 5ft 7inches and 6ft in height.

The other wore a crash helmet believed to be silver-grey in colour, with the visor down, and is described as being slightly shorter. Both men are thought to be aged in their early 20s.

The duo are believed to have fled in the direction of Wellington Place, after which they may have got into a dark-coloured car in Cochrane Street.

Anyone with information can call the incident room on 020-8733 4774, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Anyone with information about the Ainsworth Way shooting should call police on 020-7404 1212.

The two separate incidents are not thought to be related.


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