British police are investigating the murder of two men who were shot dead in different parts of the country amid widespread social media speculation the killings were revenge for a gang murder in 2017.
On Monday, 12 October, a 20-year-old man was shot dead in Telford, near Birmingham, and 24 hours later a man aged 23 was gunned down 150 miles away in Hayes, west London.
Neither victim has been formally identified by police but it is believed the man killed in Telford is drill rapper Teerose.
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Social media has been buzzing all week with rumours about Teerose, who had almost 4,000 followers on Instagram and had just put out a new song on YouTube, called No Opiates.
The killings are also believed to be linked to the unsolved murder of Abdullahi Tarabi, a 19-year-old known by the streetname Teewhiz, who was stabbed to death in Northolt, west London, in April 2017.
Two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, went on trial for the murder of Teewhiz but were acquitted in 2018 when a key witness refused to testify.
Further info for those interested in how gang rivalries play out on the streets and clear officer safety implications. Doubtless further comment on gang/youth SM will determine whether last nights fatal shooting in Hayes (west London) was also linked. https://t.co/pxD1DuvS3V— Chris Hobbs (@obbsie) October 14, 2020
The trial heard he was killed in a turf war between a Northolt gang - Ngang - and Rayners Lane gangs.
After the pair were acquitted Judge Nicholas Cooke QC said: "very few people are prepared to help the police" and added: "Had somebody helped the police , the outcome might have been different."
Detectives investigating a shooting in #Telford have released an image of a car recovered by the Wrekin on Tuesday night. If you were in Telford on Tuesday & have dash cam pls check your footage, if you have any of a similar vehicle pls let us know.https://t.co/pfZGrJA5Me pic.twitter.com/Je9FlHOR0a— West Mercia Police (@WMerciaPolice) October 15, 2020
Teerose is known to be affiliated with the Rayners Lane gang, which comes from an estate in Harrow, north-west London.
Someone was shot dead in a drive by shooting today just a mile away from where I live. If you think this sort of thing is unheard of in Telford, you’re naive. It’s more prevalent now than ever. Knife and gun crime is on the rise— One Handed Jjonak (@RedcapG) October 13, 2020
My condolences go to friends and family of TeeRose
He is believed to have relocated to Telford for his own safety.
A West Mercia Police spokesman said on Thursday, 15 October, the victim of Monday’s shooting in Telford could not yet be publicly identified. She said two men were still being questioned by police and the investigation was “ongoing”.
Due to the fatal shooting in #Hayes yesterday, a Section 60 CJ & PO Act ‘94 is in place, which had been authorised by Inspector Beavon from 04:30hrs hours, which has now been extended by Supt Fiona Martin until 04:30hrs on 15 Oct covering the areas on the map pic.twitter.com/Qo9k2y84yX— Hillingdon Police (@MPSHillingdon) October 14, 2020
The Metropolitan Police are investigating the murder in Hayes and have not commented on speculation that the victim was a member of the Rayners Lane gang.
Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin said: "I want to reassure the wider community that my team and I are working hard to find out what led up to this tragic incident."
A Section 60 public order notice was put in place across a large part of west London on Tuesday night and was extended to last until 4.30am on Thursday. It gives police extra powers to disperse individuals and is usually used when detectives believe there is a danger of a retaliatory attack.