At 7:05 pm last night, Thursday 28 September, a warm Indian Summer evening, I was waiting outside for my wife to come out of a chemist near the corner with First Avenue, NW10 when a swarm of 30 or more youths on bikes and tens more on foot raced west along Harrow Road.
The horde were shouting and appeared to be pusuing some others either at the front of the swarm or anyway going that way. That is how it seemed to me. They were waving sticks and bottles. Some bottles smashed on the road right in front of me. There was heavy traffic both ways on the road. I heard a series of pops that I couldn't locate but that sounded like gunshots, perhaps, I'm not sure.
I typed "Gang chaos on Harrow Road" into my BlackBerry and posted it to Twitter. Was this a riot situation? It occurred to me that I might be shot, together with others, such as the staff who came to the door of the chemist to see what was happening but there was not much we could do. I said "It's very dangerous here." But we were phlegmatic.
Earlier I had noted "Little poncy pipsqueak with huge Rottweiler on a chain swaggers down the street amusing little toddlers but scaring their parents for them." I now believe it might have been a very large pitbull, having searched for images. No muzzle of course. On reflection, that was a harbinger of the depredations to follow, injecting a pleasant evening with a tincture of hell.
As we were going back west towards Third Avenue on our way to where we'd parked our car in Droop Street, I saw a lot of youths (some bikes, the same ones?) and two police beside the footbridge over the canal. They seemed to be looking into the canal. There were youths in twos and threes buzzing in and around side roads on bikes or just standing and thinking which way to go. I was thinking it might be the start of a riot like the recent ones and I was just keen to get us out of there, having seen on television how muggers had taken advantage of that sort of chaos.
Like everyone, I have since heard that there was a shooting nearby "about 7 pm" on the Mozart estate. That's just up the end of First and Second Avenue.
According to Willesden and Brent Times the shooting was about 7 pm. More details have emerged as you can see from the Telegraph report. Three girls were hit by a shotgun blast, including one girl holding a baby.
Three female teenagers injured in Queen’s Park shooting - News - Willesden and Brent Times
Teenage girl was shot while holding her baby - Telegraph