Man killed in suspected shooting at house rented out for private party in quiet village
Published 25/07/2016 | 12:55
A man has died following a suspected shooting at a house rented out for a private party in a quiet village.
Several other people suffered serious injuries in the incident at the property, which has its own swimming pool, in Church Lane, Headley, Surrey, at 2.30am on Monday.
No-one has been arrested in connection with the death, although police say they have "a number of lines of inquiry".
Officers confirmed they are treating the incident as a shooting but said a post-mortem examination is to be carried out to find out the exact cause of the man's death.
Neighbours described large numbers of people of "African origin" arriving for the party on Sunday evening.
Local councillor David Preedy had warned police there could be a disturbance due to the size of the gathering and because of previous events held at the property.
Mr Preedy, who lives about a quarter of a mile away, told the Press Association: "There was a noisy party last year that I know was problematic. It started at 11pm and went on until 5am on Monday morning so was decidedly unpopular.
"When it was clear that the repeat was being organised, I notified the police on behalf of the parish council and on behalf of the community. Obviously I didn't realise what was going to happen.
"It (the house) is rented out. I understand it is the second or third of these parties. I was told last year that it was an event people were paying for tickets to attend.
"I became aware a large number of people were gathering.
"I called the police and asked them to patrol and make organisers know they should be considerate neighbours. I am pretty sure it was noisy through the night.
"I haven't spoken to enough people about it but I am sure people will be shocked and very worried."
David Baxter, who has friends in Church Lane, said: "It was a group of African-origin people. There was a smashed car, glass everywhere.
"The house is next to the church and it is rented out for parties."
Another resident said: "I drove past the house last night and there were lots of people, there were cars parked everywhere, in people's driveways. There were lots of women in brightly coloured African dresses.
"I drove past again at 5.30am on my way to work and it was cordoned off, it had all kicked off."
He added: "The house is owned by a developer from Mitcham who rents it out for parties."
Anne LegeundeLacroix posted on Twitter: "Suspected shooting at party in Headley, Surrey".
Neighbour Nick Woolley said: "There was a very loud private party in a house very close to the church which started at 5pm and I was awoken by very loud music, rap-style.
"I was woken at 2.30am by cars honking their cars, trying to get away from it. It was a very loud party with a DJ which was disturbing anyone near it.
"About 3am a police helicopter was overhead and it was circling for 45 minutes. The village is now swarming with police."
A Surrey Police spokesman said: "Police and ambulance crews quickly attended the location and found the body of the man, who was subsequently declared dead at the scene.
"The man has not yet been formally identified and a post-mortem examination to establish the cause of death will take place in due course.
"Several other people at the location are believed to have suffered serious injuries.
"At this early stage no arrests have been made but officers are actively following up a number of lines of inquiry."
Officers have cordoned off the road while investigations continue at the scene.
The spokesman added: "Police are appealing to trace anyone who was at last night's event and may have seen the incident or with any information to come forward as a matter of urgency."
Reggae dancehall artist Braintear Spookie, real name Jason White, posted adverts for the party on his Instagram account.
The 21-year-old, originally from Kingston, Jamaica, but who moved to the UK in 2013, is listed on the advert as an organiser of the event along with "The Female Boss".
The advert promotes "The Big Mansion Pool Party Part 3 Called My League @ A Posh Location in The Hills", with the Headley address at the bottom of the image.
The singer, who has produced songs with titles including Hurt It Up, Nuh Fault Wid Yuh, and Cah Tek Mi Life, also posted pictures of himself posing with a water pistol at what appeared to be the poolside at the venue prior to the party, which cost £20 to attend.