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Luton Shooting Death: Appeal
A week after a dad was shot outside a house in Luton, a family friend has made an appeal for information.
Paul Foster was shot outside a house on Brunel Road, Lewsey Farm on the evening of Tuesday 9 April 2013. He was driven by friends to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital but medics were unable to save him.
Two men were arrested on suspicion of murder but were later released on bail.
Bedfordshire Police were called to reports of shots being fired in the Stopsley area of Luton on the morning of Tuesday 16 April, but it's not yet known if the incident in Burnham Road is connected to the shooting of Paul Foster, or an ongoing criminal feud his death is being linked to.
Adowa Ramsey is a minister at the World of Faith International Christian Centre UK. She's known Paul Foster and his family for 10 years.
Speaking on behalf of of his family she said: "Paul was a dedicated husband and a father of three children- his son and two little girls.
"Paul worked very hard to keep his family- he worked as a cleaner and a driver.
"Originally from London he moved to Luton approximately 10 years ago. Paul was a huge character- often you would see him playing football on the green spaces in Lewsey.
"Always keeping an eye open for the welfare of our young people and helping those who may be about to stray on to the wrong path. He loved music and was the leading force in opening a community sound studio where young people could hang out, where they could be safe and keep out of trouble whilst giving them something worthwhile to do.
"Paul was a hugely influential member of our community- young people would listen to his words of wisdom and seek his advice.
"He regularly attended our church meetings and his community spirit had no limits- if there was anything we needed he would do everything he could to help.
"Paul the husband and father was dedicated to his family- often he would work his daily plans around his wife's work to ensure one parent was with their children at all times.
"Paul's wife and children are now devastated by his loss- no words can bring him back."
Bedfordshire Police believe Mr Foster's murder is linked to an on going criminal feud.
They think there are people out there who know more about this and could help solve the murder.
They claim he was not a man who was directly involved in crime but say his lifestyle brought him into close contact with local criminals.
Some of his close friends are known criminals.
Detective Superintendent Jeff Hill said: "Paul Foster's death has left a family in despair. Three children have lost their father and a wife her husband.
"There are people out there who can help solve this murder. Some of them may have already made their minds up about Paul as a person and are choosing not to help us. If that is the case, we are here today to try and change their minds.
"There is a lot of speculation about Paul and the sort of person that he was, or was perceived to be.
"We are not saying that Paul was directly involved in crime however, it must be accepted that Paul’s lifestyle brought him in to close contact with local criminals. Some of his associates and in fact some of his close friends were known to be involved in crime. We believe that the motive for this horrendous killing was linked to an ongoing criminal feud.
"On Tuesday 9th April Paul was shot as he came out of a friend’s home in Brunel Road.
"We retain an open mind as to whether the offender had gone to that location with the intention of killing Paul. What we do know is that there were a number of people in and around the address at the time Paul was murdered, who must have seen the incident. We also know Paul was alive for a period of time after being shot and was taken to hospital by friends or associates. We again believe that during their time with Paul they must have been told exactly what had occurred and been provided with details of who was responsible.
"We have received information during this investigation which has been of great assistance to us. Information sadly is not evidence and without evidence we quite simply will not be able to bring the person or persons to justice who has committed this abhorrent crime.
"My plea today is for evidence. I want people who saw what happened, heard Paul talk of what had occurred or have heard details of what happened from those responsible to come forward.
"I make no bones about it we need people to stand up and be counted. We need people to have the courage and leadership to do the right thing. That means speaking with us about what they know and being prepared to make statements where required.
"This was a brutal killing in a residential area of Luton which has shocked the community. Sadly this is not the first occasion that something like this has happened. Only earlier today there has been another incident where a firearm has been discharged. This situation is entirely unacceptable and those engaged in the use of firearms in this town need to be stopped.
"We the police are committed to bring to justice those who are responsible for using firearms in this town. We are committed to bringing the murderer/s of Paul Foster to justice - we can do neither of these things alone. We need brave people to come forward and let these criminals know that their activities in the communities of Luton will not be tolerated. I repeat once more – we need evidence.
"You can talk to officers from the Major Crime Team or your local police officers. You can talk to them not only about what you know but also about your fears and concerns associated with providing evidence to the police. We can and we will provide all necessary support and protection to those concerned about doing the right thing."
If anyone has any information on the murder of Paul Foster you can contact the police Incident Room on: 01707 355959 or Crimestoppers on: 0800 555 111.
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