Teenage getaway driver named as he and gunman are sentenced over Coventry drive-by shooting - The Coventry Observer

19th Aug, 2022

Teenage getaway driver named as he and gunman are sentenced over Coventry drive-by shooting

Coventry Editorial 8th Jan, 2021 Updated: 8th Jan, 2021

A MAN and a boy have been jailed today after a teenager was killed in a drive-by shooting in Coventry.

The name of the the child – Riaz Ahmed – who was just 15 at the time when he was driving the car during last year’s incident – has been revealed for the first time.

He conspired to kill Abdul Xasan with the 19-year-old gunman who opened fire from the back seats – he is not yet able to be named for legal reasons.

Mr Xasan – who was just 19 years old – was shot as he walked along Harnall Lane, Hillfields just after 2.30pm on March 13.

A post mortem revealed he suffered two gunshot wounds to his back which caused catastrophic internal injuries. He died in the street.

Both offenders were convicted of murder last month and today have been jailed for life.

Ahmed – now 16 – must serve a minimum of 18 years in youth detention followed by prison, while his accomplice will spend at least 27 years behind bars.

Due to Ahmed’s age, police were not previously able to identify him but the judge today lifted reporting restrictions allowing us to release his name.

The offenders were linked to the C2 gang in Coventry while the victim – arrested just days before the murder for possessing an imitation gun – was connected to a rival group known as RB7.

Det Ch Insp Scott Griffiths from West Midlands Police’s Homicide Unit led the investigation.

He said: “These sentences must act as a stark warning about the dangers of gang affiliation: you run the risk of serious injury or death, or the possibility of spending much of your life locked up.

“There has to be a better option for young people.

“We can help people who want to turn their backs on gang culture.

“Along with our partners including charities and support groups, we can help young people make better choices.

“But for those who insist on affiliating themselves to violent gangs there is a very strong possibility they are going to be seriously injured, killed or spend much of their life locked up in jail.”

Getaway driver Ahmed sped away from the murder scene in the Golf Type R – stolen in Rugby the previous day – and arranged for others to set it on fire in an attempt to destroy forensic evidence.

But the pair weren’t on the run for long after police quickly identified them as potential suspects and both were arrested in the early hours of the next morning after we raided their home addresses in Coventry.

Both were electronically tagged at the time due to their suspected involvement in other offences – and police seized tagging information that showed they were in the street at the time of the murder.

Shotgun cartridges found in the burned out car were also matched by ballistics experts to spent cartridges recovered from the murder scene.

Despite strong evidence against them the pair denied murder – but following a four week trial at Birmingham Crown Court last month they were found guilty.

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