Friend shot alongside Sabrina Moss recalls fateful night

Sabrina Gachette was injured in the shooting (Pic Credit: PA/Andrew Matthews)

Sabrina Gachette was injured in the shooting (Pic Credit: PA/Andrew Matthews) - Credit: Archant

An innocent woman who survived the gangland shooting which claimed the life of her friend in Kilburn has spoken about the fateful night.

Sabrina Gachette, 25, suffered horrific injuries when she was shot in the back at near point-blank range by a hooded gunman in Kilburn High Road on August 24 last year.

But she survived to tell her harrowing story in court and get justice for her old school friend Sabrina Moss, who was killed as she celebrated her 24th birthday last year.

The young women were innocent victims caught in the firing line of a violent drugs turf war which erupted outside Woody’s Grill just before dawn.

Miss Gachette said: “Justice has not only been served for us as victims, it has been done for the community - there are violent people off the streets.”

Recalling the night they were gunned down, she said: “We went out for Sabrina’s birthday. Everyone was just having a fantastic night. There was nothing out of the ordinary that happened that night.

“People were outside smoking, talking, then out of nowhere I just felt this weight on my back. I went down to the ground, didn’t see or hear anyone around me. There was no warning.

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“It felt like a brick. I thought someone had thrown a brick at me. Then because of the explosion I thought it was a firework.

“Sabrina was in front of me and that was when I heard her say she had been shot in her heart. That is the last thing I remember hearing her say.

“It was not until Sabrina said what she said I realised I had been shot. I remember collapsing at the entrance of the Woody Grill and dragging myself in.

“I just remember seeing her in front of me. It’s strange because I had a feeling she wouldn’t make it.

“We both lay on the floor in the kebab shop. Armed police arrived, paramedics arrived. From there, I was taken to hospital.”

Miss Gachette was lucky to survive. Although the court was told more than 50 pellets were removed from her body, her mother Pauline said she had counted more than 120.

She said: “The pellets entered from my back. One entered the pericardium. That caused bleeding around my heart. I think my left lung was punctured. Again there was blood around the lung. Broke both of my shoulders. There were injuries to my colon, my liver.

“Some people described it as a miracle because I should not have survived the injuries. I realised just how close to death I was.”

Miss Gachette, who had just started a job as a receptionist when she was shot, said she still has a few pellets lodged in her body but physically, at least, she has recovered.

“This has shown me that I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was. But I still have a long way to go,” she said.

She bravely opted to give her evidence at the Old Bailey in full view of the defendants in the dock rather than behind a screen.

She said: “At first I was really afraid. I didn’t want them to see me but then I thought actually I haven’t done anything wrong.

“I plucked up the courage to stand up in front of them and give evidence. At first it was hard and emotional but it was something I had to do for myself - and Sabrina.”

She said if it had been the other way around, her old friend would have done the same for her.

The court was shown CCTV footage of the killers stalking their target for much of the night before striking outside the Woody Grill kebab shop.

Miss Gachette, who sat in court with her mother throughout the trial, said: “Seeing that was scary. How many times did they see us but not once did I see them. They knew there was girls out there.”

She added: “You hear of stabbings, gangland murders - you don’t expect people to do things like this when there are innocent people around.

“It’s scary to think that you are just out minding your own business and someone can creep up behind you and do something like that. They didn’t know you and you know for sure you don’t know them.”

Miss Gachette said she met Miss Moss on the first day of secondary school and they had known each other for 13 years.

She said: “She was just fun-loving. She was always up for a good time. She had time for everyone. There was not a bad bone in her body at all.”