Teenage murderer, 16, who gunned down rival gang member in drive-by unmasked by judge

Riaz Ahmed, now 16, was 15 when the killing took place (Image: PA)

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A judge has lifted an order protecting the identity of a 16-year-old gang member who murdered a member of a rival group in a drive-by shooting.

Riaz Ahmed was 15 years old when the shooting took place.

Abdul Xasan was blasted in the back with a shotgun as he walked home from Friday prayers at a mosque in Coventry, West Mids.

Ahmed and a second 20-year-old man, who can't be named for legal reasons, were both found guilty last year of murdering the teen in Hillfields.

The 19-year-old victim was targeted by members of the C2 gang as he walked past a nursery and a hostel for the homeless on March 13, 2020, a court was told.

Shooting victim Abdul Xasan was 19 years old
(Image: SWNS)

The victim had just left prayers at the nearby mosque at around 2.30pm when his attackers pulled up alongside him in a stolen car and opened fire.

CCTV footage from a nearby building captured the moment Abdul was shot from the rear passenger seat by a gunman wielding a sawn-off pump action shotgun.

The teen died in the street.

Ahmed was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 18 years at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday.

CCTV showed the moments before a VW Golf pulled up and the occupants opened fire on Abdul
(Image: SWNS)

His accomplice, thought by detectives to be the gunman, was ordered to serve at least 27 years of his mandatory life term. 

Passing sentence, Judge Simon Drew QC said the killing had occurred during "gang warfare" which broke out after the 2018 killing of 16-year-old Jaydon James.

The judge on Friday varied an order which had prevented Ahmed from being named, after an application by the PA news agency.

Judge Drew said: "Riaz Ahmed has been found guilty of an exceptionally grave crime.

"It is strongly in the public interest for him to be identified. This murder took place in the context of inter-gang violence carried out on the streets of Coventry in the middle of the day."

The judge described the murder as a "terrible thing", as he said the killers had driven from the Wood End area – seen by C2 as its territory – into the centre of Coventry, which is the territory associated with the gang RB7.

An arrest is made following the shooting
(Image: SWNS)

They were in a stolen Volkswagen Golf with cloned number plates, and one of the pair was armed with a shotgun, the judge said.

"It is not possible to determine whether either of you had the gun, drove the car or was there to act as a spotter," Judge Drew told the pair.

"What is clear is that you each knew the purpose of the trip, which was to find and shoot a member of RB7.

"You each actively participated in that joint venture."

A burnt out car discovered by police following the killing
(Image: SWNS)

The pair had denied murder, but the jury found both guilty.

During the trial, Ahmed admitted he had been heavily involved in vehicle crime since the age of 13.

Prior to sentence, defence QC Rachel Brand urged the judge to consider that Ahmed had the genetic condition cystic fibrosis.

The lifelong condition mostly affects the lungs, but can also impact other organs.

Addressing the extent of the life-limiting condition, she told the court he faced increased risk in the coronavirus crisis.

Ms Brand said: "All his life he has been at risk of infection, virus and now this pandemic.

"Whatever the advances in medical science, it's a question of luck – either good luck or bad luck – for someone with his condition."

Commenting on the case, Detective Chief Inspector Scott Griffiths, who led the West Midlands Police murder inquiry, said: "These sentences must act as a stark warning about the dangers of gang affiliation: you run the risk of serious injury or death, or the possibility of spending much of your life locked up."

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