Words & pics by Ed King
Police are calling on the public for information after shootings in Soho yesterday led to four suspects being apprehended in Erdington last night – with a 19 year old man escaping death following a gunshot wound to the leg.
Police reported “the offenders made off in a white Vauxhall Astra”, eventually tracking down the vehicle to the car park by Margaret Mary’s Church on Perry Common Road at around 8pm.
After fleeing the scene in a taxi, four people were apprehending by armed police officers around 20 minutes later – with three teenage males, aged 15, 16, and 19, alongside a 20 year old woman arrested for attempted murder.
Police told shots were also fired on Heaton Street, Soho, although no casualties were reported.
Several eyewitnesses around Perry Common Meadows spoke to Erdington Local last night, following the “significant police presence” that appeared around the parkland entrance on Perry Common Road
“We were driving to the supermarket at about 8pm and we saw armed police standing around the car park; there also a couple of (police) cars parked up, but we didn’t think much of it.
“Then by the time we had driven back, about 40mins later, there was a significant police presence – with a white car being loaded on to the back of a tow truck.
“The police were putting blue tape up at the entrance to the meadows and we though this must be something serious.”
“We were just messing about on the court and all these police ran into the park. They started searching around and putting tape up by the car park.
“They didn’t say anything to us, but we thought we’d better leave and just go home. Whatever it was looked serious.”
Another local resident, who lives off Erdington High Street, was waiting at the No28 bus stop when he saw a team of police officers searching the hedgerows on Dovedale Road.
“It didn’t look like anything was happening, but then I saw about six police officers with litter picking sticks looking through the bushes on Dovedale Road.
“I went up to the police and asked what was happening, they were really polite but didn’t tell me much other than it was an ‘ongoing incident’ and there was no reason for the public to be concerned.
“Then I saw the one officer was holding a large knife, or machete, in a sheath – I asked again what was going on and the officer just told me it was ‘in hand’ and there was no danger. I didn’t see or hear anything else.”
After requesting information from the police HQ last night, Erdington Local learnt today about shots having been fired earlier in the day and a 19 year old man admitting himself to hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg.
A statement from West Midlands Police released at around 5pm on Friday 8 July confirmed:
“We’ve arrested four people after a teenager was shot in the leg and shots were fired at an unknown victim in two separate incidents in Birmingham yesterday (7 July).
“A 19-year-old man arrived at hospital with a single gunshot wound to his leg just after 12.30pm. He told officers he had been shot at in Clissold Street, before the offenders made off in a white Vauxhall Astra. His injuries are not life threatening.
“A white car was reportedly involved and the same Astra seen earlier was found in Perry Common Road at 8pm as the occupants made off. A machete was found inside.
“The occupants were believed to have jumped in a taxi, which was intercepted by our firearms officers less than 20 minutes later.
“Two boys, aged 15 and 16, a 19-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, possession of a firearm and possession of drugs. They remain in police custody for questioning.
West Midlands Police are now calling for any information from the public to aid in their investigation, they added:
“We would ask anyone with information to contact us via Live Chat on our website quoting log 1501 of 7/7. We would particularly like to hear from the person shot at in Heaton Road around 5.30pm.
“Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Tell us what you know not who you are.”