Ilford shooting: Diwali fireworks masked gunshots in fatal double shooting, says resident

Shamina told ITV News the area was 'a bit rough' and she was scared to leave her house - click above to watch full report by Correspondent Simon Harris

Gunshots fired in a fatal double shooting in east London were masked by Diwali fireworks, according to a "shaken" neighbour. Two men were killed and a third was critically injured in a shooting in Ilford, the Metropolitan Police said. Officers were called to Henley Road at around 12.15am on Tuesday morning following reports of a fight in progress and shots fired. They found three men with gunshot injuries. One man in his 20s was pronounced dead at the scene, while another died a short time later. The third victim, aged in his 30s, was taken to hospital and remains in a critical condition.

A woman who lives near the scene said the sounds of gunshots were drowned out by fireworks for the Diwali celebrations. The religious event, the Hindu Festival of Lights, began on Monday. Shama Ahmed, 50, whose flat is just yards from where the two men were shot, said: "I live in a flat upstairs here, I heard some screaming, shouting, and I was a bit shaken by the screams but this is very common around by this area. "I just looked from my window upstairs and the police and the helicopter above. "There was fireworks going right in front of my flat, so with the fireworks the shots weren’t heard at all. "There was this celebration, Diwali thing, going on, and fireworks so you couldn’t hear the shots. "I live around the corner here and I’m a bit wary, me and my family are concerned about this."

Police tape at the scene in Ilford after two men died and a third was left critically injured Credit: PA

The Met said officers believe they know the identity of the man in his 20s and work is ongoing to identify the other man killed in the shooting. There have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing. A large police cordon has been put in place on the residential street, while forensic investigators comb the area for evidence. Councillor Jas Athwal, leader of Redbridge Council, called for more police as he spoke to reporters at the scene. He said: “I think more police across the whole of the capital, these are numbers that have been cut over successive governments, we have to make sure we get the police here. “We have been complaining about this in my role as London Councils lead on crime and community safety, I made that plea to the new Metropolitan Police commissioner only last week and he agrees that we need more police.” He added: “I think sometimes these things build up over time and that’s where the police is needed to stop that building up over time and I think if we could get that we would be in a better place.”

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