Girl, 9, fights for her life after being shot in a drive-by while enjoying a family meal at a restaurant

A nine-year-old girl is fighting for her life and three adults are in hospital after a drive-by shooting outside an east London restaurant.

Eyewitnesses saw a gunman on a motorcycle, which police believe was stolen, spraying bullets in the direction of the diners before speeding off down the road.

The girl was eating at the restaurant with her family when gunfire broke out, Chief Inspector James Conway told a news conference.

Customers inside took cover under tables or hit the floor in scenes of chaos at Evin Turkish restaurant on Kingsland High Street, Dalston.

Police, including firearms officers, and the London Ambulance Service rushed to Hackney at around 9.20pm last night.

The child and three men aged 26, 37 and 42 suffered gunshot wounds.

The three men, who were sitting outside the restaurant, were taken to hospital for treatment. They are in stable condition, although life-changing injuries are possible.

The youth, described by police as an “innocent victim”, remains in a critical condition and the other victims are not as seriously injured, the Metropolitan Police said.

No arrests have been made at this early stage. The stolen bike was later found dumped in Colvestone Crescent.

Loud gunfire can be heard on CCTV footage from a nearby shop. In a clip shared with the Standard, shots are heard before you can hear a motorcycle revving its engine.

A witness who was several meters away when the attack occurred told the Standard that they saw a gunman “on a black motorcycle, all in black, with a face not visible, shooting what I remember five to six gunshots into the restaurant next door”.

They added: “He drove away and a man on a bicycle ran towards the scene looking completely shocked.”

Business owner Ayo Adesina told the Standard he was about 80 meters away when rapid gunfire erupted.

The 40-year-old said: “I heard pat, pat, pat, pat… There was a big crowd of people. There was a man on the ground. The paramedics arrived quite quickly.

“It’s really cool, almost like it wasn’t a purposeful thing, random. That is very irresponsible.

“There are so many people walking around. You have families there, I’ve eaten there before with my family. It’s something crazy. There would be a lot of people who saw it.”

An eyewitness said she was at a nearby Nando’s outlet when she heard five or six gunshots and a motorcyclist fled at high speed.

Antonia said: “At first everyone didn’t think so [a shooting]It sounded like a car wasn’t working, but we were in Nando’s and we just saw people running past.

“Everyone got out to look and we saw a lot of people surrounding the store.

“It took forever for the police to arrive and before that we saw the motorcyclist. He went around Nando’s along that road.

“We really just wanted to get out of there.”

Det Chief Supt Conway said: “The investigation is being led by our specialist crime colleagues and we are supporting them with specialist local officers as we carry out rapid investigations to identify and arrest those responsible and establish the motive behind the shooting.

“The investigation is in its early stages and we are open to that motive.

“We would like to identify other witnesses who were in the area surrounding the scene at the time of the shooting.

“Similarly, if you were on Kingsland High Street at the time of the shooting and have any information or footage from a phone or other device, please share it with us.”

Tom Himpe saw the main street flooded with emergency services as he walked to local shops.

He told the Hackney Gazette: “The police were shouting at everyone to get off the streets.

Police cordoned off a major scene in Dalston on Wednesday evening (Simon Robinson)

Police cordoned off a major scene in Dalston on Wednesday evening (Simon Robinson)

“It’s not the first time an incident has taken place around Dalston Kingsland station, but this was a drive-by shooting so it feels very different.”

This morning a large cordon remained in place.

Spilled bottles and a half-drunk glass could be seen on tables outside the eatery, with chairs placed on the street. There were two bicycles on tables outside.

Another witness, who was with Evin at the time, said it was busier than normal before the shooting.

He said: “There was a large group eating in the back. I couldn’t get my usual table so I got one close to the front window.

“The large group paid and left and shortly afterwards the loud bangs – which were clearly gunshots – rang out.”

He said everyone dived to the floor and under tables, adding it was “chaos”.

    (James Manning/PA Wire)    (James Manning/PA Wire)

(James Manning/PA Wire)

When he saw some were injured, he said he used his jacket to stop the bleeding from a leg wound.

He continued: “I estimate it took about 10 to 15 minutes for emergency services to arrive. First police, then NHS staff. They were very efficient.”

An emotional Ladbrokes worker heard five shots and the sound of a motorcycle before quickly closing her shop two doors down.

When she found out a child had been shot, the woman “started crying,” adding, “I found a bullet last night when I was leaving. The police said ‘don’t step on it’.”

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Ward said: “We know Londoners will be shocked by what has taken place.

“Our thoughts go out to all those affected.

The Thursday Scene (James Manning/PA Wire)The Thursday Scene (James Manning/PA Wire)

The Thursday Scene (James Manning/PA Wire)

“Rapid investigations are underway and we will update as soon as possible. If anyone has any information please contact us.”

London Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 9.21pm on Wednesday 29 May to reports of a shooting in Kingsland High Street, Hackney.

“We have deployed resources to the scene, including ambulance crews, advanced paramedics, incident response officers and members of our tactical response unit.

“We also sent a trauma team from the London Air Ambulance, which consisted of a doctor and a paramedic in a car.

“We treated three adults and one child at the scene before transferring them all to a major trauma center.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or post @MetCC with reference CAD 8082/29May. To remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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