The shooting in St Mary’s at around 10.30am on the morning of Saturday 20th April rang through the residents of Southampton. With the announcement of Southampton’s low crime statistics earlier that week , the incident was poorly timed and was a shock to the local community, even in Southampton’s historically most infamous district for urban crime.
Photos of the crowd gathering at the scene of the area cordoned off by Police were awash on social networking sites within minutes and reports of an arrest surfaced within the hour. Early reports suggested a drugs-related incident, which had been upgraded to a suspected murder enquiry by the end of the day. Police were quick to seal off and evacuate the area, containing the incident within hours and confirming that it was a one- off incident posing no threat to public safety.
The Daily Echo reported the outrage from the residents of the local community with hourly updates. One 74-year-old woman said:
I’ve been here 45 years and I thought this area was getting better, but it’s not.
However, not all were so quick to condemn St Mary’s reputation from this one –off horrific event, with a shopkeeper from St Mary’s street commenting:
Everybody’s shocked by what’s happened, the brutality of it. I’ve worked in this area for 20 years, I really like this area, it’s a real close-knit community.
The case quickly became a suspected murder enquiry as 23 yr old Jahmel Jones was shot in the head over a drugs related incident and it is reported that Pierre Lewis, 20 from Barnes, London and Isaac Boateng, 21 from Hounslow, London have both appeared before Southampton Magistrates court separately on Monday and Tuesday this week and have been remanded in custody to appear in Winchester crown court on May 14th.
The Daily Echo reports charges were amended from conspiracy to murder to joint murder whilst Baoteng was at Southampton dock, but a court order banned the charges being reported prior to today’s arrests.
A third man is being held for questioning in London with a joint operation from specialist teams in the Met.