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Family’s anguish three months on from suspected mistaken identity shooting

No one has been charged over the fatal shooting of Wilson Alexandre Garcia Varela

05 December, 2019 — By Samantha Booth

THE family and girlfriend of a young man who was shot dead in a suspected case of mistaken identity have told of their anguish that three months have passed without anyone being charged with his murder.

Aspiring musician Wilson Alexandre Garcia Varela, 24, was gunned down by suspects on a moped in Prince of Wales Road, Kentish Town, in September. He had gone out to buy milk.

His Portuguese family told the New Journal they are desperate for justice, with his younger sister checking the Met Police website every day in the search for answers.

Speaking from Lisbon, Brenda Ariana Garcia Varela, 23, said: “I know there’s nothing we can do, I know that my brother isn’t here any more, but I still want those people to pay for what they did as soon as possible, because if they did this to my brother they are a threat to London’s streets and something needs to be done as soon as possible.”

Two men arrested by detectives are on police bail until next month but nobody has been brought before a court. A £10,000 reward has been announced by Crimestoppers.

A childhood picture of Wilson and Brenda

The murder investigation was one of three opened in five days during a spate of knife and gun killings in Camden. Three out of seven murder investigations launched this year in the borough remain unsolved, with arrests made but no charges.

Mr Varela, a keen skateboarder, was buried earlier this month in Portugal.

His girlfriend, Julie Krasevec, who has been staying in touch with police, said she was growing frustrated as officers have told her that work is going on in the background, but they cannot share it with her.

The 21-year-old said: “I’m going to fight until the end, that’s for sure. I just feel like I need more people to know and then maybe people will talk [to police]. “I thought that after the funeral it was about to be easier for me, as I knew I was in denial before.

“I had a release last week [after the funeral] as I knew this was one step closer to getting a better mental health for me, because now he’s in peace, but at the same time, I think I’m still in denial.

“Until this person who did this is judged – I don’t think they realise what they did – I don’t think this feeling is going to change.”

They say they are yet to get confirmation from police if the case is still being treated as mistaken identity, as detectives suggested earlier this year.

On the night of his death, Mr Varela was staying with Ms Krasevec who had just moved to Malden Road from Paris to study at an international school in Marylebone.

He was fondly known as “Ni” to those close to him and was based in east London, where a memorial has been erected by friends at a skate park.

Wilson and Julie

Speaking about her older brother, Brenda said: “I would talk with him, about everything almost every day, my mum as well, on FaceTime and WhatsApp.

“Every time we talk with him we asked him if he wanted to come [back to Portugal] and he just loved that country [United Kingdom] so much since the first time he went there for only days to be with my uncles, he told me that he loved there, because he was a free spirit, a guy that loved to meet new people and make connections.”

She said she “couldn’t understand” how violence was still happening in London, adding: “If you go to the Met Police site you can see how awful and scared things are for the people that live there.

“We didn’t even knew that things were like that in London until this happened.

“Our hearts are with the families that lost their loved one as well, and everyone that has gone through losing someone.

“When I see the news I keep seeing this happening and I wonder, when are they gonna do something about it? “Here in Portugal we don’t see those things happening with that frequency, so it’s a shock.”

Wilson Alexandre Garcia Varela

Arrests have also been made but no charges have been brought in the cases of 22-year-old Calvin Bungisa, who was stabbed to death in Gospel Oak in April, and 25-year-old Assad Yarow, who was also stabbed in Camden High Street in September.

Speaking to the New Journal in October, Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick admitted murder squads had been “stretched” but said this was not the reason why some cases remained unsolved.

A Met Police spokesman said: “The investigation into the fatal shooting of Wilson Alexandre Garcia Varela remains ongoing. Detectives are continuing to carry out extensive enquiries to trace those responsible for his murder.

“It is still believed that the murder was the result of mistaken identity.

“Detectives would urge any witnesses to the shooting to come forward and speak with them.

“Any piece of information may prove vital to establishing the identity of those involved.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 020 8358 0200 or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can also visit to pass on information anonymously.

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