‘Terrified’ neighbours heard man get shot on Highbury Fields

A file image of Highbury Fields. Picture: David Holt/Flickr/Creative Commons (licence CC BY-SA 2.0)

A file image of Highbury Fields. Picture: David Holt/Flickr/Creative Commons (licence CC BY-SA 2.0) - Credit: Archant

Neighbours have described the terrifying moment a man was shot on Highbury Fields – moments before a “huge crowd” tore up the tarmac to escape police.

The attack happened on Wednesday night after a fight broke out in Highbury Crescent. A 19-year-old man was found suffering from gunshot wounds in Corsica Street and was yesterday described as “stable” in hospital.

It was Islington’s second firearms incident in 24 hours and the borough’s third in four days.

A 16-year-old boy sustained bullet wounds in Muriel Street at 1.20am on Wednesday, and gunshots were reportedly fired in Walters Road, Holloway, on Sunday morning.

One woman, whose house backs on to Highbury Fields, told the Gazette: “I looked out of my window and there was a huge crowd drinking, shouting and leaning on cars. It was dusk and then I heard a loud shot ring out. I was terrified.

“I rushed to the window and saw everybody jumping into their cars and they left so fast it could have killed someone.”

She described how a group of girls fled from the park and said three police cars soon arrived and drove across the park to where a barbecue was still simmering.

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But then she said: “After half an hour the police left and then all the cars came back. They had been watching.”

It was between 11pm and 11.30pm that the woman, who lives with lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, said she decided to call the anti-social behaviour team.

She said: “The anti-social behaviour lady said ‘we can’t send anybody out there because we have been told there was a fatality’.” In the event, this was not true.

The witness added: “They told me the only thing I could do is call the police but at about one o’clock it died down.”

Another neighbour, who also asked to remain anonymous, said: “It was an odd sound not unlike a car backfiring - it was actually a gun shot.”

The man, who lives on the corner of Highbury Crescent and Fieldway Crescent, added: “I think one of the main causes of this is the fields are getting overrun by people from outside and it’s basically the barbecues driving them here.

“Most weekends we have been going away because we just can’t bear it.”