Murder in affluent Birmingham suburb

A MURDER inquiry has been launched after a man was brutally gunned down in a leafy suburb of Birmingham.

The unknown male was found with a gunshot wound in the affluent Edgbaston area of the city lined with GBP600,000 Victorian properties home to doctors, lawyers and company directors.

His bloodstained body was found just yards away from the city’s historic 143-year-old St Augustine’s Church and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police yesterday cordoned off part of the area for forensic examination and officers were today conducting local house-to-house enquiries.

Officers said the man had not yet been identified and they had not been able to inform his family after they were called to the scene at 10:13pm on Tuesday.

Neighboursyesterday reacted with shock to the violence which erupted on their usually peaceful street.

Shabnam Zaida, 56, who lives on the road, described hearing a gun shot while she was at home.

The foster carer said:”I heard a gun shot between 10.15 and 10.30pm. I could tell it was not a fire work. It was a very loud bang. Then I heard a car skid and drive off very fast.

“I was praying so I could not see the car but my foster child, who is 12, did. His room is at the front and he also heard the gun shot and saw a black Ford Fiesta drive off.

“This is a nice area. Nothing much happens. It is mainly families that live at this end. This has come as quite a shock.”

A large police cordon was in place at the scene this yesterday morning while forensics examined the area.

Another neighbour, Zack Sethi, 31, said:”I heard a bang but I thought it was the scaffolding collapsing. It was quite loud.

“We have never had any problems before here. It is very quiet, very peaceful but you just don’t know nowadays. It does not make much sense. I am quite shocked.”

Mr Sethi, a director of a bathroom manufacturing company, added: “It is very professional here. There are lots of directors and businessmen who live round here but then again you just don’t know who lives in the flats.”

Two high performance cars were stolen from a property on the road in the last month, according to neighbours.

Indo Dankaro, a 21-year-old undergraduate, said:”A Mercedes and and a big Volvo was stolen from our drive at 4am about three weeks ago.

“This is usually a nice area. You don’t expect this to happen.

“I heard lots of noise and saw lots of police vans and officers last night so I thought something bad had happened.”

A police spokesman said the inquiry into the shooting was in its very early stages and officers were trying to establish the precise circumstances and focusing on tracing the offender or offenders.

“Local people should be reassured this type of crime is not commonplace in Edgbaston and we would appeal for anyone with information to come forward to assist us,”  said the spokesman.

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