Police in plea for end of 'mindless' violence after boy, 14, shot dead near playground

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A senior police officer today appealed for an end to the “mindless violence” in east London after a 14-year-old boy died after being shot in the head outside a children’s playground.

Corey Junior Davis was blasted with a shotgun as he sat talking with friends on Monday afternoon. He died shortly after 10pm last night. Today Chief Superintendent Ade Adelekan, who is in charge of Newham policing, called on the community to come forward with information and help end a tit-for-tat gang war in the borough.

He spoke as the teenager’s family told of their “devastation” at his death and called for a stop to weapon-carrying.

The boy, known as CJ, lived with his grandfather, Neville McLeod, near where he was killed. Today Mr McLeod, 75, told the Standard: “There is nothing bad you could say about CJ. He was a lovely boy. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He never kept bad company, so we just have no idea why this has happened.

“That day he just left in the morning like he always did and said ‘goodbye grandad, I will see you later’. He got up in the morning like he always did, had his breakfast, but didn’t come home.” 

Mr McLeod said: “I’m feeling devastated, the whole family is. These people don’t care, they go around with these weapons.

“I want to say to these people, stop it, where is it going to take them? Why do people have to go around carrying knives, guns, shooting and killing people? There’s no reason for it. Why do they have to do it? They act like life is cheap. CJ did nothing to deserve this.”

Mr Adelekan said armed police and plain clothes patrols were being deployed in the borough and new stop and search powers used to tackle gangs and reassure local people.

He said: “We need community support to help tackle this violence. The way the community can help is if they have any information to come forward and enable us to apprehend these offenders and stop this from happening again.

“We have had a number of shootings around the borough. We believe some of these are gang related, a bit of tit-for-tat from one gang to another.”

Three men have been stabbed and two shot in a series of linked incidents in the borough in recent weeks.  

Friends of Corey said he had been “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and claimed the shooting was retaliation for a stabbing at the nearby Westfield shopping in Stratford last Friday. 

A 17-year-old boy, named locally as Jamal Reid, also suffered “life-changing” leg injuries when the lone gunman opened fire. His mother told the Standard: “Corey was my son’s friend, they were like brothers. They were just standing there hanging around together and someone just came up to them and attacked them.”

A friend of the family paid tribute to Corey, saying: “He was lively and hyperactive. He was always dancing and trying to make you laugh. CJ was in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

“There was a group of them and a guy came in a car and shot them in a revenge attack over the stabbing at Westfield in Stratford, but CJ did not deserve to go. … he was just with the boys they were after.

“There was only one gunman, he was about 16 or 17 and very quiet.”

Mr Adelekan said: “I understand that people sometimes do not want to talk to the police but if they know something I would urge them to talk to a youth worker or someone who can pass us the information. “

Anyone with information should call 020 8345 3775 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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