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Boy arrested over gun murder of man who was ‘trying to better his life’

MP describes killing as a "truly appalling incident"

16 December, 2016 — By William McLennan

Yasir Beshira died after being shot in the abdomen

A 15-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of gunning down a man on a busy Kilburn street during rush-hour.

Yasir Beshira, 21, was shot in the stomach as he walked near Kilburn High Road at around 5:20pm on Thursday last week. A teenager, arrested yesterday, is currently being quizzed by detectives. A 22-year-old man was arrested in connection with the shooting on Saturday, but has been released on bail.

Detectives believe a “lone male suspect” fired once at Mr Beshira in Palmerston Road. He then stumbled less than 100 meters along Kilburn High Road to Netherwood Street, where he collapsed and died, police said.

It is thought the gunman – described as being a “slim white male” wearing a dark hoody – fled on foot through the Webheath Estate.

Friends of Mr Beshira, who was known as “Loopy”, gathered around floral tributes near the scene of the shooting on Friday.

One friend, who did not want to give his name, said: “He was a good guy. He loved his girlfriend a lot. He was someone that definitely didn’t deserve what happened to him.

“When you hear someone getting shot you think there has to be a good reason. I know he didn’t have problems where people would want to shot him.”

A fund-raising page, set up by Asma Hassan-Utie to help cover funeral costs, said: “This news has deeply touched us all and come as a big shock within our Eritrean and wider community. Yasir Beshira was loved dearly by his family and friends. Everyone that was close to him knew he had such a good heart, who cared for his family and was looking to better his life.”

News that a man armed with a gun had been walking the streets shook the community and Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq: “This is a truly appalling incident and my thoughts are with the victim and his family.”

Others were left criticising what they perceive as an overall rise in crime. Brian Mannion, landlord of the nearby Black Lion pub, said: “The crime around here is shocking. It’s unabated. You can feel that something like that is likely to happen. When you walk up the street you can feel these tensions, you can feel it festering. So when it happens, it’s not a huge surprise. It’s latent.”

The senior officer leading a team of murder squad detectives said that the suspect would have “stood out” and called for members of the public who witnessed the shooting or the moments before and after to contact police.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Partridge said: “I believe this person was loitering in and around Palmerston Road and the Webheath Estate prior to the attack.

“Following the incident he fled along Palmerston Road and into the Webheath Estate. It is my view that this suspect would have stood out hanging around at this location and certainly when he fled through the estate following the attack.”


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