A Jewish man has spoken of his horror at seeing a gunman about to fire shots into the St John’s Wood restaurant where actress and singer Rachel Stevens was dining last Friday evening.
Two people, a 31-year-old black man — apparently the intended target of the attack — and a 15-year-old white youth, were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds, which were said not to be serious. The man was shot in the leg and the youth in the arm.
The witness, a 73-year-old who works in the clothing industry and does not want to be named, said he was sitting with six others at a front-window table of the Harry Morgan restaurant.
“The restaurant was busy because people had come from watching cricket at Lord’s. I heard a noise that sounded like a car back-firing. The people sitting outside got up and there was a commotion.
“I stood up to see what was going on. The people outside moved and suddenly I saw this man, about 8ft away, with a gun slung over his shoulder. Some reports said he had two guns but I saw only one. It looked like a semi-automatic.
“As soon as I saw the gun, I shouted ‘Duck, duck, everybody,’ and we all dived under our tables. Within a second, I heard four or five shots.
“It was a huge shock when I saw the gun. You just don’t expect things like that on a London street. It was terrifying.
“I don’t know how I got the words out to shout a warning. We were very lucky because the restaurant’s glass doors had been folded back and we were behind those.”
Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Trident, are investigating the shooting. They appealed for witnesses to come forward.
It is the second time Stevens has been a victim of crime. A few weeks ago she was mugged outside her home. Her fiancé Alex Bourne said: “Rachel is working away and doesn’t want to talk about what happened.”