August 23, 2007, Times Online
Rhys Jones, the 11-year-old shot dead as he played football in a pub car park in Liverpool last night, is the latest victim of a spate of gun crime against teenagers and children in recent months.
Official crime suggest that firearms offences are actually falling - by 13 per cent last year - but there are no separate statistics for gun crimes involving minors and anecdotal evidence suggests that guns are becoming easier to get hold of and are losing their mystique.
London alone has seen at least 17 teenagers shot or stabbed to death so far in 2007, including a 16-year-old shot dead at an ice rink and another boy killed by single shot after being chased through a South London estate by a gang of youths on bicycles.
Here is a list of some of the gun crimes affecting youngsters across the UK this year:
February 3: James Andre Smartt-Ford, 16, of New Malden, Surrey, died after being gunned down at Streatham Ice Arena in south London. He was shot in front of hundreds of people attending an ice-disco. So far no-one has been charged with his murder, but four teenagers are on police bail.
February 6: Michael Dosunmu, of Peckham, south London, was shot dead by gunmen who broke into his home just days after he celebrated his 15th birthday. Police believe Michael, a regular churchgoer, was a victim of mistaken identity. Two men have been charged with his murder, and three other men and a 16-year-old boy are on police bail.
February 14: Billy Cox, 15, was shot dead on the doorstep of his home in Fenwick Place, Clapham, south London. The football loving teenager was serving a 12-month supervision order for a burglary offence and was electronically tagged and restricted to a curfew from 7pm to 7am. One man is currently on police bail in connection with his murder.
March 8: A 16-year-old boy suffers injuries to his thigh and calf after being shot outside Croxteth Sports Centre, Liverpool. A 19 year-old youth, from Croxteth, was arrested on suspicion of wounding, possession of a controlled drug and possession of ammunition.
April 30: Kamilah Peniston, 12, was shot dead in her home in Gorton. Her mother Natasha has since been charged with possessing a pistol and a 17-year-old boy has been charged with the murder and possession of a firearm and ammunition.
June 23: Annaka Keniesha Pinto, 17, was shot during a fight in the Swan bar in Philip Lane, Tottenham, north London, in the early hours of the morning. Three people were arrested in connection with the death and later released on bail. Just before midnight Ben Hitchcock, 16, from Penge, south London, was stabbed to death in a fight involving up to 40 youths in Beckenham, London. Fourteen teenagers were arrested in connection with the incident and were later released on police bail.
July 26: Abukar Mahamud, 16, died from a single gunshot wound to the neck on July 26 after apparently being chased by a gang of youths on bicycles. He was gunned down in the Stockwell Gardens Estate in Stockwell, south London, in the early hours of the morning. A 20-year-old man has been charged with his murder.
August 3: Nathan Foster, 18, was found fatally shot by police in Marcus Garvey Way near Brixton Underground station. A 17-year-old boy has been charged with his murder.
August 14: Two men were arrested after an inquest into the shooting of 15-year-old Jessie James, in Moss Side, Manchester, was dramatically halted when police received new information. He had been shot dead in September last year while riding his bicycle through a park in Manchester.
August 22: Rhys Jones, 11, shot dead as he played football in Croxteth, Liverpool. Two teenagers, aged 18 and 14, were arrested in connection with his shooting, outside the Fir Tree pub on Wednesday night.
August 23, 2007, Times Online