Gunmen treat life like Grand Theft Auto, says mother of shot girl, 11

Grandmother of 11-year-old girl who was shot in the leg after she was caught in the crossfire of a gangland shooting in playground condemns gunmen for ‘treating life like a Grand Theft Auto computer game’

  • Children aged 11 and 15 injured in shooting in Bushbury, Wolverhampton, in May

The grandmother of an 11-year-old girl who was injured in the crossfire of a gangland shooting said the gunmen treat life like the violent Grand Theft Auto (GTA) computer game.

The schoolgirl was shot in the leg alongside a boy of 15 while she was on a climbing frame in a playground at a city park, after being caught ‘in the line of fire of a ‘murderous’ feud between rival groups.

Jurors heard that after the shots were fired from a suburban street towards the park in Bushbury, Wolverhampton, on May 1 there was a high-speed car chase through the city ‘straight from the movie director’s script’.

CCTV footage from a nearby house showed Kian Durnin, the driver of a stolen Ford Focus, and Tireq McIntosh, his front seat passenger, leaning out of the windows to fire at a Mini Cooper off-camera in a car park. 

The third defendant, Martino De-Sousa, was sat in the back of the Ford at the time.

Footage shows a gang stopping in the street and firing shots in Bushbury, Wolverhampton

A Ford Focus stops before men in balaclavas stick their guns out the window and start shooting

Police video footage shows arrests being made after the children were shot in a playground 

Durnin, 22, De-Sousa, 24, and McIntosh, 23, all of Wolverhampton, were convicted of attempting to murder a person unknown and aggravated vehicle-taking yesterday, after more than 28 hours of deliberation by jurors. 

They will return to Birmingham Crown Court for sentencing on Wednesday.

‘They just treat it like a video game,’ the girl’s grandmother told the BBC. ‘Like it’s OK to go GTA shooting round the streets… it’s not it’s real life. It could have been so much worse.’

The girl who was playing in the park when she was shot in the leg, while the boy was on a bike in the adjacent car park when he was shot just below the knee.

Tireq McIntosh was one of the three men to be found guilty of attempted murder 

Kian Durnin was also found guilty of attempted murder after the children were shot 

Martino De-Sousa was found guilty of attempted murder following the shocking incident 

The girl had played at the park, minutes from her home, countless times, her mother said.

‘I dropped my daughter off at the park that day thinking that she would be safe’, she said.

The mother said she ran barefoot to the park after receiving a call to say her daughter had been shot.

She told the BBC: ‘There was so many people around her trying to help,’ she said. ‘She had a jumper pressed on her, someone else got a belt to tie around her legs and she was crying.

‘She just said, ‘I want my mummy, I need my mummy,’… but I couldn’t actually get to her because of the amount of people that were around her… I could just put my hands through the bars in the playground and just hold her, just try and reassure her that way.’

Footage shows the moment the gang were arrested after children were shot in a playground

Three men were found guilty of attempted murder after the children were hit with bullets 

The attack in Wolverhampton’s Bushbury district on May 1 saw two children taken to hospital

Kian Durnin, Martino De-Sousa and Tireq McIntosh were all in a stolen Ford Focus when they fired shots at the kids as they played in Shelley Road, Wolverhampton

Both children have recovered from their injuries, but the mother said her daughter is undergoing weekly therapy for post-traumatic stress.

A third unidentified car joined the chase and a shot os believed to have been fired from that car, which blew out the rear windscreen of the Ford. The bullet later found embedded in one of the car’s headrests.

Following their arrest, Durnin and McIntosh denied any involvement while De Sousa made no comment.

Detective Inspector Francis Nock, from West Midlands Police’s Major Crime Team, said: ‘At least six shots were fired and it’s by sheer luck that these two children weren’t more seriously injured or killed.

Grand Theft Auto games are set in a series of fictionalised cities where players take the role of a criminal, stealing cars and carrying out missions or heists for shadowy underworld bosses

‘Thankfully, they have both made recoveries from their physical wounds. But this has left their families shattered.

‘We may never know who the intended targets were, or why the shooting happened, but we believe it involved tensions between gangs in the Wolverhampton area, and may be connected to illegal drugs.

‘This was a cowardly attack by men who had no hesitation in firing deadly guns next to a children’s playground.’

The weapons used in the attack have never been found.

The Grand Theft Auto series of games are set in a series of fictionalised cities where players take the role of a criminal, stealing cars and carrying out missions or heists for shadowy underworld bosses.

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