LONDON — A seven-year-old girl was fighting for her life in hospital yesterday and five other people were injured after a shooting following a requiem mass for a mother and daughter in London, police said.
Mourners ran screaming from the scene outside a Roman Catholic church in the capital as gunshots rang out.
“Initial enquiries suggest the shots were fired from a moving vehicle which was then driven away from the scene,” London’s Met Police said in a statement as they launched an urgent appeal for witnesses.
The priest who conducted the service, Father Jeremy Trood, told the PA news agency it had been a requiem mass for Sara Sanchez, 20, and her mother, who both died within a month of each other in November.
The younger woman had succumbed to leukaemia while her mother died after suffering a blood clot on arrival from Heathrow from Colombia, the MyLondon news website reported.
“I heard this almighty bang and I thought this was not normal, and the next minute everyone was screaming and shouting,” a neighbour told PA.
In addition to the seven-year-old girl, four women and another girl, 12, were wounded in the incident near the busy Euston train station.
The other girl was discharged from hospital after treatment for minor leg injuries.
A 21-year-old woman is also in a central London hospital. Police said her injuries were not life-threatening.
Three other women aged 41, 48, and 54, remained in hospital with non life-threatening injuries, police said.
“Any shooting incident is unacceptable, but for multiple people, including two children, to be injured in a shooting in the middle of a Saturday afternoon is shocking,” said the police Superintendent Ed Wells.
“An investigation into this dreadful attack is already well under way involving local officers and specialist detectives,” he added.
A witness told MyLondon the shots were fired as mourners who had attended the mass watched doves being released afterwards. — AFP