Student Killing 'Mistaken Identity'

The shooting of a teenage university student fatally wounded as he sat in a car with his two brothers was a case of mistaken identity, police believe.

Joseph Burke-Monerville and his twin brother were in the back of the parked car when three shots were fired into it on Hindrey Road, Clapton, east London, on Saturday evening.

The 19-year-old, from Islington, north London, was rushed to hospital but died later, while his twin was uninjured.

Their older brother, sat in the front seat, was also shot. The 22-year-old is in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

Mr Burke-Monerville, who according to his Facebook page was studying forensic science at London Metropolitan University, and his brothers had no links to gangs, Scotland Yard said.

No arrests have been made but police said two suspects were seen running from the scene.

Detective Superintendent Gordon Allison of Operation Trident, which tackles gang-related crime, said:

"As far as we're concerned, this looks like a tragic case of mistaken identity. They have parked just opposite a shop - we believe they were going to go into the shop and make a couple of purchases and then they were going to go home.

"They have been approached by the two suspects, a short conversation has taken place and as a result of that, three shots were fired into the vehicle, resulting in the fatal injury of the victim."

Mr Burke-Monerville's family is being supported by Scotland Yard, Mr Allison said.

He added: "The unfortunate thing about this incident is that his twin brother was also in the back of this car."

Officers are still trying to find a motive for the shooting. One of the two suspects is black, police said, while the second is light-skinned, possibly of Asian or Turkish appearance.

They were seen running away from Hindrey Road after the shooting towards the nearby Pembury Estate.

Police are speaking to witnesses, checking CCTV and carrying out forensic examinations as part of their investigation.

Witnesses described how two men wearing bandanas walked into Hindrey Road at about 8.20pm on Saturday then three gunshots were fired.

One witness, an 18-year-old who did not want to be named, said:

 "I was walking home from the shop when I saw a black man and a white man walking down the main road and turn into Hindrey Road. After about 30 seconds I heard three loud bangs. It's unnerved me a bit because my family live nearby."

The student said there were known feuds between gangs on rival estates, including the Pembury and Nightingale estates.

A resident, who also did not wish to be named, said she heard three gunshots.

The 70-year-old woman said:

 "I heard the shots - one, two, three. I was on the phone to my son and he told me not to dare look out the house.

"It's been a lot better around here recently. There hasn't been anything like this for many years."

Mr Burke-Monerville had spoken on Facebook of his excitement about a planned holiday to Magaluf on the Spanish island of Majorca next week, which he said would be "a week 'off' stress".

He wrote that he had attended Aloysius' Roman Catholic College in Highgate, north London, and Wesley High School in Otukpo, Nassarawa, Nigeria.

Tributes poured into social networking sites as friends expressed their shock at the shooting.

Timothy Timi-Kehinde Gbadeyan, a friend of Mr Burke-Monerville, wrote on Facebook:

"I always hear about gun crimes, never thought my brother will ever be a victim. RIP Joseph Burke-Monerville."

Michaela Georgiou Francis described the killing as "disgusting", adding that people like Joseph did not "live that life".

"Such a wonderful loving young man," she added.

"He was gonna do amazing things. His smile will charm the angels. Neva forgotten.x"

Witnesses to the shooting or anyone with information about the incident are asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.