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Police launch murder investigation after man shot on his doorstep in London

Police in Battersea Church Road, south London, following an incident where a man was shot dead on Tuesday (Getty)

Police have launched a murder investigation after a man was fatally shot on Christmas Eve in south-west London.

Officers were called to Battersea Church Road at about 9pm on Christmas Eve to reports of shots being fired.

Police and ambulance crews attended and the man, believed to be in his 30s, had suffered gunshot injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Julian Stratton, 51, was at his parents’ home just metres from the scene at the time of the incident.

He said: “We are friends with a man who lives directly opposite the scene. He told us there was a knock at the victim’s door, which was answered.

Officers were called to Battersea Church Road at about 9pm on Christmas Eve to reports of shots being fired (Getty)

"Then there were five gunshots. Four back-to-back, ‘bang, bang, bang, bang,’ then a pause before the final shot.

“The shots were heard by many neighbours, but being Christmas Eve, most people thought they were fireworks, at first."

A police tent on the street outside yesterday. A man believed to be in his 30s suffered gunshot injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. (Getty)

He added: “My neighbour’s partner is a health worker. He went to help the man, who was lying on his driveway, before the police and ambulances arrived.

“It is thought that one round entered the victim’s neck, but where the other four ended up are unknown."

Another resident was walking his daughter to the bus stop and missed the shots by a matter of minutes.

The elderly man, who does not wish to be named, said: “I was dropping my daughter off at the bus stop and walked right passed the house in question.

“When I returned I saw what had happened. A group of people gathered around the person. I stopped, but didn’t help because everything that could be done, was being done.

“If I had left five minutes later I could have got caught up in it.”

The man’s other daughter, who was still at his home when the incident happened, said: “The bangs were incredibly loud. Then more than 10 police cars arrived about 15 minutes later."

Omar Seikaly, 35, a caterer who lives several doors down from the victim’s house, said: “Someone got their life taken on Christmas Eve.

"I was coming back from my kitchen at about 8.15pm and was in the shower getting ready for a Christmas meal when it happened.

“I didn’t hear anything, because of the shower I suppose. As soon as I walked out I knew there was something wrong because of all the flashing lights from police cars and ambulances.

“This is a pretty hot area. There was a stabbing on a street nearby not long ago. But shooting is quite new.”

Police presence in Battersea Church Road, south London following an incident where a man was shot dead on Tuesday.

Supt Richard Smith, of the Met’s south west command unit, said: “My thoughts are with the family and friends of the man who lost his life in such tragic circumstances on Christmas Eve.

“Local officers are on duty across the bank holiday and are working closely with homicide detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, to understand what happened and bring those responsible to justice.

Det Ch Insp Jamie Stevenson, of the specialist crime command, who is leading the investigation, said: “Our investigation is in the very early stages and we are still working to establish what the motive could be that has led to a man losing his life in such a horrific way, on Christmas Eve, in front of his family.

“They have been devastated by this horrible event and are being supported by specialist officers.

“We know that the victim was returning home with his wife and young child following an evening out, when he was shot just yards from his home. The assailant then fled on foot in the direction of Battersea Bridge Road.”