Two men, aged 22 and 19, have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following three shootings in Coventry.
Police responded to reports of a shooting on Friday December 27 around 6:30pm in the Henley Green area of the city and found a 23-year-old male with shotgun injuries to the head.
Around an hour later, a 16-year-old was also taken to hospital with injuries to his shoulder, believed to be shot at from a passing car in the area of Wood End.
Neither victim’s injuries are thought to be life-threatening. Following these attacks, shots were fired at a house in Wood End on the night of Saturday December 28.
In the early hours of December 29, the two suspects were apprehended and arrested by police on Corporation Street in the city centre.
The shootings are the latest in a series of incidents to occur in the city in 2019. In October 2019, there were two injured in a shooting in the city centre, a 15-year-old boy was left with life-altering injuries in July and a series of four stabbings in five days happened in November.
In November 2019 alone, there were 40 weapons-related crimes reported in the city, the highest number since May 2013, when weapon-related crimes were first recorded in their own distinct category.
There is no place for violent acts such as these on our streets. It’s extremely fortunate that the two young people were not seriously injured or worse
– Chief Inspector, Paul Minor
Chief Inspector Paul Minor released a statement following the shootings. He stated: “There is no place for violent acts such as these on our streets. It’s extremely fortunate that the two young people were not seriously injured or worse.”
He pledged that the police force would “continue to work tirelessly with partners and local people to tackle the harm and misery it causes to families, friends and the wider community”.
It was then announced that police would be exercising Section 60 powers over the night of Sunday December 29, allowing them the right to stop and search people in the city centre and Wood End area.
Coventry Police tweeted that they would be exercising the Section 60 powers between 5:00pm on December 29 through to 2:00am the morning of December 30. They clarified that the extra powers allowed them to “stop & search people without reasonable grounds but where there is a risk of violence or believed weapons are being carried”, continuing that their “priority is to protect YOU the public”.
Section 60 powers are often introduced following incidents of shooting or stabbings and are aimed to “make it simpler for forces to intervene and save lives”, according to the Home Office. The rights allow police to “search for potentially deadly weapons and take them off the streets” as an act of caution against retaliation attacks.
Police were granted a superintendent extension on December 30, allowing them extra time to question the two suspects who remain in custody.