Man killed in Harlesden drive-by shooting was not the intended target
- Credit: Archant
Police have revealed a man killed in a drive-by shooting in Harlesden on Wednesday night was not the intended target.
The victim, who has been named locally as Oliver Tetlow who is in his 20s, died after a gunman opened fire in Church Road at around 10pm.
The killer used a ‘high-powered weapon’ believed to be an ‘Uzi’ before fleeing in a dark coloured car with blacked out windows.
Detectives investigating the killing are looking into claims the murder is gang-related after a video showing a gang members from the Church End Estate taunting their rivals in South Kilburn was posted online.
The footage shows a man holding a gold watch and several pieces of jewellery which is believed to have been robbed from a South Kilburn rival.
Mr Tetlow was shot dead several hours later.
DCI Mark Lawson, who is heading the murder hunt, said: “At this very early stage in the investigation, we are exploring that the shooting was gang related, however I am satisfied that the victim was not the intended target and this was a tragic case of mistaken identity.
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“The investigation to identify and arrest the person(s) responsible for this senseless murder is moving at a very fast pace, and I would like to thank everyone who has so far come forward and spoken to the police.”
“We are aware of information about the murder which is circulating via social media, and I would appeal to anyone who has information which could assist the investigation to call the incident room.”
A resident, who heard the shots being fired, said: “My son had gone out and when I heard the shots I flew out because I thought my son was there but he wasn’t.
“When I got to the shop I saw the body and people were him resuscitating him.”
Another resident told the Times her teenage son had been warned not to be out in Church Road last night as ‘something would be going down’.
Saima Kobab and her husband Jabbar Butt moved into the area with their two young children in January.
She said: “Last night was very shocking. The shots sounded like a machine gun, continuous. I thought it was in front of my door and I was so scared, I was too frightened to open my curtain. Someone was crying. There was so much noise.”
She added: “I don’t know who lived here before. People are always knocking on the window, staring through it. The children are so scared to even play in the front room. It’s not safe here.
“There is a lot of drug dealing around here, on this corner, everywhere. They are always there. The police know there’s drug dealing on this road but I don’t know why there aren’t CCTV cameras here.”
Mike Diggins of Brent Autos told the Times: “I’ve been here since 1989 and it is quite a volatile area around here.”
Friends and relatives of Oliver visited the scene yesterday afternoon where they laid flowers and paid tribute to him.
An uncle, who asked not to be named, told the Times his nephew was a good boy who was not involved in gangs.
He added: “He was very intelligent and very academic.
“We loved him, he was well loved and was not a bad boy.”
Superintendent Nigel Quantrell, acting borough commander for Brent, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the young man who sadly lost his life.
“I am alive to the impact an incident like this has on the community and that tensions may be high and people could be feeling concerned.
“I would ask for calm so that officers can do their job and bring the person(s) responsible to justice as soon as possible.”
He added that visible police patrols in the area have been increased and officers will be speaking to the community.
Anyone who witnessed the shooting or has any information is asked to contact police on 0208 358 0200 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
A fundraising page has been set up to help pay for Mr Tetlow’s funeral.
So far it has raised £885 towards its £8,000 target.
To make a donation visit here.