Man shot in riots dies in hospital
Published 09/08/2011 | 07:43
A 26-year-old man shot in a car during riots in Croydon last night has died in hospital, Scotland Yard said today.
A number of large fires were set by rioters and looters in the town including a huge blaze which gutted furniture business Reeves which was torched as violence spread across London.
Amid the disorder Scotland Yard said it had found a 26-year-old man in a car suffering from gunshot wounds.
Police were called at about 9.15 last night to reports the man had been found injured in Warrington Road, Croydon.
A spokesman said: "Two other people, believed to be in their late 20s, were also at the scene. They were arrested for handling stolen goods and taken to a south London police station."
The man was taken to a south London hospital where he is described as being in a serious condition.
The shooting is being investigated by Scotland Yard's Trident operational command unit, which deals with gun crime in the black community.
The Reeves family said their lives had been ruined by the fire.
Owner Trevor Reeves told Sky News: "It has just provided my family and the 15 or 20 staff and families that were supported, it's just completely destroyed.
"Words fail me. It's just gone, it's five generations. My father is distraught at the moment. It's just mindless thuggery."
His brother Graham added: "Our lives are destroyed, it will probably be someone else next week. It's horrendous, 35 years I have been down here."
He said the business was established in 1867, but he now had "nothing", adding: "Everything is just gone, we have just got nothing left. I was in the Brixton riots but this is worse. My life is destroyed."
Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell said: "I'm sickened to see this happening in my town. My first instinct is sympathy for the businesses and residents who have been directly affected by what's happened.
"The main building which was seen on fire at Reeves Corner is a family business called Reeves, which has been there for a century, and it's been completely destroyed.
"The people responsible for this wanton violence need to be brought to justice."
Mr Barwell, who has lived in Croydon all his life, said he was trying to speak to the Home Secretary to urgently discuss police resources.
He said: "The Met Police and fire brigade need to be given resources from other parts of the country to make sure that another night of this violence does not take place."
Several blazes were seen across Croydon, with plumes of smoke rising from the buildings, prompting outrage from local residents.
Pub landlord Alan McCabe told the BBC: "I have never seen such a disregard for human life. I hope they rot in hell.
"The grief they have caused people, the fear they have put in people's hearts, decent people who have done nothing to anyone."
Simon Hoar, cabinet member for community safety at Croydon Council, said: "It is an absolute disgrace. It has nothing to do with any issues these people have. These are pure common thieves more interested in getting a free telly."
Mike Fisher, leader of Croydon Council, said: "I am disgusted by the mindless hooliganism displayed by the criminal element that has come to Croydon.
"Businesses that have been around in Croydon for more than 100 years have been destroyed just because these morons think it is all right.
"The council will do all that it can to assist the police in bringing these people to book. It is simply not acceptable."
Later, speaking to the BBC, he added that the violence "has got nothing to do with what happened in Tottenham".
Mr Fisher said: "If you speak to the people who have done this tonight, they would not even know who Mark Duggan was.
"This is pure criminal activity by mindless thugs and morons who think it's acceptable to be able to go out, cause criminal damage and steal from people."