Detectives investigating the shooting of a five-year-old girl and a shopkeeper believe they were caught in the crossfire of a gang blasting two youths who sheltered in their south London shop.
The little girl and 35-year-old man are in a critical condition after being hit inside the Stockwell Food & Wine shop, on Stockwell Road, south London at 9.15pm on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Police issued a statement saying: "It is believed two black youths ran into the shop shortly before the shots were fired.
"The youths had been chased from Broomgrove Road, across Stockwell Road, and into the shop by three other black youths on bicycles. Once the youths on bikes were outside the shop, one of them fired shots into the shop front."
The little girl was hit in chest, police confirmed, and the man was shot in the face. Detective Chief Inspector Tony Boughton said: "This is a terrible incident where an innocent child has been seriously injured. We want to hear from the local community, who might have seen these youths cycling around the estate between 2100 hours and 2200 hours.
"I appeal to those who have information or were involved in this shooting to come forward and assist us with this investigation. These criminals have seriously injured two innocent bystanders and must face the consequences of their actions." Detectives confirmed the victims were not related.
Peter Robbins, one of three Lambeth councillors who represent the area, said residents were horrified. "It is incredibly shocking, I think the whole community at the moment is numb and horrified, and rightly so," he said.
The parade of shops was cordoned off on Wednesday morning and five police cars were parked outside. Stockwell Green Court, an access road behind the main road, was also sealed off by the police. Officers guarded the cordon and were taking the details of those who wanted to access the area. The incident is being investigated by Trident detectives.
The officers believe the two intended targets ran from the shop to chase the three on bicycles and went along Broomgrove Road and into the Stockwell Park Estate.