Three sentenced to life in custody for attempted murder after paralysing boy in Birmingham shooting

Two men and a teenager who were convicted in August of shooting and paralysing a 13-year-old boy have been sentenced to life in custody.

Zidann Edwards and Diago Anderson, both aged 20, alongside Tafique Thomas, aged 17 - who police are now able to identify after reporting restrictions were lifted given the severity of the crime were sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court:

Zidann Edwards was sentenced to 17 years for attempted murder, Diago Anderson received an 18 year sentence for attempted murder and Tafique Thomas will serve 16 years and eight months for attempted murder and possession of a firearm.

The shooting happened in November last year in the underpass at Hockley Circus, Birmingham.

The victim and his friends had been in the city and were on their way to get food when he was attacked.

Despite his injuries, the 13-year-old boy managed to call 999 to tell the ambulance service he’d been injured.

Firearms officers were first on the scene and gave life-saving first aid before paramedics arrived. 

Police found CCTV evidence which showed a car travelling along the A41 before stopping abruptly in a service road. The three got out.

The boy and his friends were then chased into the underpass and within seconds a home-made shotgun, known as a slam gun, was fired, shooting him in the back and leaving him paralysed.

Credit: West Midlands Police

The footage, which police have released today, showed the trio running from the scene and driving off.

Officers later tracked down and recovered the car they were in and further examinations by forensic experts meant they were able to link the trio to the car.

After they were arrested, officers recovered more evidence including the clothing they wore on the day of the shooting, along with several phones.

Officers also recovered a handgun and a slam gun from an address linked to Thomas and further examination helped to prove this was the weapon used in the incident.

Following today’s sentences the mother of the teenage boy has said: “These cowards didn’t even ask my son a simple question, they just ran him down and shot my 13-year-old in his back, like he was nothing. 

“But my son is strong, strong like a lion and no weapon formed against him will ever prosper.”

Detective Inspector Michelle Cordell, from our Force CID, said: “The unprovoked and callous actions these three young men has changed the life of an innocent boy forever.

“The events of that evening are simply heart breaking – it did not need to happen and I am deeply saddened by the fear the young boy must have felt before being so seriously injured. 

“Gun crime is so damaging, there are never any winners. I hope the outcome today sends a really clear message to anyone engaging in gang or gun crime. It’s a serious offence for which you will be punished.

“While no sentence can ever change the tragic events of that day, I hope that it provides some comfort to the boy and his family as they continue to rebuild their lives.

“My team have worked tirelessly with internal and external colleagues and partners to gather and present the evidence in this case. Their collective hard work and dedication led has helped achieve justice for the young boy and his family.

“Our primary focus is always to prevent these incidents from happening, but sadly we do continue to see gun violence on our streets.  We need our communities to come together to help us in our fight against gun and gang related crime.”