Stockwell shooting: Man, 19, held over attack on girl

Thusha Kamaleswaran
Image caption Thusha Kamaleswaran was hit in the chest

A 19-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of the attempted murder of a five-year-old girl who was shot in a shop in south London.

Thusha Kamaleswaran was shot in the chest and fellow bystander Roshan Selvakumar, 35, was hit in the face at a store in Stockwell on Tuesday.

They were gunned down when three youths on bicycles chased two youngsters into the shop and opened fire.

The man was arrested on Thursday afternoon.

The arrested man, who was picked up by officers in south London, remains in police custody.

Police have also reviewed CCTV footage from the shop.

A £50,000 reward was earlier offered for information about the attack.

The victims - who are both Sri Lankan but unrelated - are now said to be in a serious but stable condition.

Police have revealed the three attackers chased two other youths into Stockwell Food and Wine before one of the trio fired shots into the shop front.

Thusha's 12-year-old brother, three-year-old sister and mother were present in the shop at the time of the shooting but were unharmed, police said.

Earlier, Det Ch Insp Tony Boughton said: "The investigation is progressing well. We have viewed CCTV of the incident and are now beginning to get a clearer picture of what happened.

"One of the youths who first ran into the shop has come forward and is assisting us with our enquiries.

"We are still trying to trace the other individual and appeal to him to come forward."

Police are hoping to speak to anyone who saw the three youths cycling between 2000 and 2200 BST in Stockwell on the night of the attack.

The only description they can give is that they were black and rode bicycles.

'Violent and cowardly'

Lambeth Borough Commander, Ch Supt Nick Ephgrave said: "We have drafted into the area extra officers from the borough to reassure the public and to make it clear to anyone even considering being involved in violence that it will not be tolerated.

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Media caption"A tragic incident but an isolated incident." Chief Superintendent Nick Ephgrave, Metropolitan Police

"Since Monday's shooting, I have been speaking to many local people to let them know how the police is responding to prevent any further outbreaks of violence."

Claudia Webbe is chairwoman of the independent advisory group to Trident, which investigates gun crime in the black community.

She said: "It is particularly sad when innocent bystanders and children as young as five become the victim of these violent and horrific shootings. Although incidents like this are isolated they have a huge impact locally.

"This is a societal problem - once the bullet has been fired it affects us all.

"The whole community is united in bringing these violent and cowardly criminals to justice."

She added: "It is important to come forward to the police - whether you are a friend, mother, wife or daughter."

In a statement Velluppillai Navaratnam, a friend of the girl's family, said: "It has been a very difficult time for Thusha's friends and family.

"Her family are with her in hospital and we are praying for her to be well."

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