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Published: 29 May 2008
Gilbeys Yard off Oval Road, where the shooting took place, It overlooks the Regent's Canal
Gilbeys Yard off Oval Road, where the shooting took place, It overlooks the Regent's Canal

Seventeen-year-old dies four days after brutal ambush

A FOUR day vigil ended in tragedy last night (Wed) when a teenager died from the gunshot wounds inflicted in a Camden Town attack that has left a community shaken and fearful.
He had been shot through the head in Gilbeys Yard, a cobbled terrace off Oval Road that overlooks the Regent's Canal, at 10.50pm on Saturday night.
The 17 year-old- named by police as Sharmaake Hassan was surrounded by dozens of friends and family at the Royal Free Hospital during his four day fight for life.
Although police have declined to confirm any details of the attack, the New Journal understands that he was followed into the alley by three men who shot him down, then kicked him as he lay on the ground and left him for dead.
“It was an ambush,” one source said. “They were waiting for him, they followed him round the corner, and they did him. To do what they did after they shot him is beyond belief.”
The suspects walked away along Oval Road and past a police car heading towards the scene, another source said. A friend who was with the victim escaped by jumping onto the canal path. A bullet is understood to have been found at the scene.
At another hospital on the other side of the borough, another teenager was recovering from a gunshot wound yesterday.
He had been shot in the stomach during a visit to Archway in the early hours of Friday morning.
Both teenagers are of Somali origin, and their shootings - although the police have yet to confirm whether they are connected - have left the Somali community in Camden deeply troubled.
Prayers were offered for Sharmaake's recovery at the Pan London Somali Conference in Holborn on Tuesday, where organiser Ibrahim Isse described him as “a nice, quiet, good guy,” who used to be a regular at the Somali Youth Development Resource Centre.
“Our prayers are for his family,” he added.
Both shootings are being investigated by Operation Trident, the Met team which specialises in solving gun-crime in London's black community.
Although the unit is most associated with drug and gang-related shootings, Trident's Detective Inspector Dave Rock declined to comment on the circumstances of these cases yesterday, beyond confirming that one line of inquiry was whether the two incidents were linked and calling for witnesses.
The terrible nature of Mr Hassan's injuries in particular created fears that his many friends will seek revenge for the attack, which came at a time of tensions between groups of young people in Camden.
“One fear is that they might take the law into their own hands and commit another terrible act to another family,” said Abdul Farah, director of the Somali Community Centre, yesterday. Stressing that the precise motive for the attack was still unknown, he said: “I believe this was preventable- there have been warning signs in the last two months about the deteriorating relationship between young Somalis and the Afro-Carribean community. There have been various incidents which have created a tit-for-tat and there have been individual attacks among both communities.”
Members of the Somali community centre had held talks with representatives
of the CarAf Centre, which represents the black community in Camden, to coordinate calls for calm, he added.
Superintendent Paul Morris from Camden borough police said: "This is a shocking tragedy. We have stepped up patrols in the borough to reassure the community and specialist officers are investigating the incident. In addition, we are working closely with Community Groups to offer any other reassurance, which we can."
Witnesses are asked to call Trident on 020 8733 4640, or crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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