Police rule out Colombian cartel’s involvement in drive-by shooting at London memorial service

Police rule out Colombian cartel’s involvement in drive-by shooting at London memorial service which left girl, seven, fighting for her life – as they quiz man, 22, over attempted murder

  • Saturday’s drive-by shooting outside a Euston church left six people injured
  • It had been suggested the attack could have been linked to the Cali drug cartel
  • But police have now ruled this out and are instead focusing on London gangs 
  • On Monday video emerged showing armed police arresting a man in connection

Police have ruled out the involvement of a Colombian drug cartel in the drive-by shooting at a London memorial service which left a seven-year-old girl fighting for her life.

The Metropolitan Police is continuing to question a 22-year-old man on suspicion of attempted murder following the attack, which took place at St Aloysius Church opposite Euston Railway Station on Saturday.

It had been reported the shooting could have been linked to the Cali Cartel after it was revealed one of the women the service was held for was the ex-wife of a member of the notorious drug gang.

However, police have now ruled this out, with sources in the Met suggesting that the crime is linked to London-based gangs and that the six people who were hurt were innocent victims. 

Armed police arrest a man in connection with the attack after surrounding a car in Barnet, northwest London, on Sunday

Armed police arrest a man in connection with the attack after surrounding a car in Barnet, northwest London, on Sunday

A police officer stands outside St Aloysius Roman Catholic Church near Euston station after the attack on Saturday

A police officer stands outside St Aloysius Roman Catholic Church near Euston station after the attack on Saturday

The incident, which took place at around 1.30pm on Saturday, saw a gunman open fire on a crowd of people who had gathered for the funeral of Sara Sanchez and her mother, Fresia Calderon.

Ms Calderon had been married to Carlos Arturo Sanchez-Coronado, a member of the notorious Cali Cartel who had been jailed in the UK for his role in the gang’s money laundering operation.

On his release, the crook moved back to South America, where he was believed to be living in the Chilean capital of Santiago when he died aged 56 last year.

There had been suggestions that the gang, which at one point was responsible for 91 per cent of the world’s cocaine trade, was linked to the shooting.

But sources within the Met have poured cold water on this, and officers are looking closer to home for the culprits and motivation behind the attack. 

Six people were hurt, including a seven-year-old girl, with one person left with life-changing injuries in the drive-by shooting.

On Monday footage emerged showing armed police boxing in a car in Barnet, northwest London, and arresting a man in connection with the attack at around 4pm on Sunday.

Part of the group of armed police continue to point their weapons at the person in the passenger seat while another marked police car could be seen further down the street.

The police can be heard shouting ‘get on the ground’ as they bring the suspect to the floor.

The witness can be heard describing how the police said they were arresting the man on ‘suspicion of attempted murder’ and that there is a cab licence sticker in the window of the vehicle.

One local living in a flat on the road said: ‘They smashed into my car, I think it’s going to be written off, I’m still dealing with the insurance.

‘They blocked the car in at the front, side and back. Right into my BMW that was parked on the side of the road. Armed police were pointing their guns into the car.’

The shooting took place at a memorial service for Fresia Calderon (left) and her daughter Sara Sanchez (right), who died within a month of each other

The shooting took place at a memorial service for Fresia Calderon (left) and her daughter Sara Sanchez (right), who died within a month of each other

Ten armed police officers surround the car before removing the driver and pinning him to the road (moment pictured)

Ten armed police officers surround the car before removing the driver and pinning him to the road (moment pictured) 

Carlos Arturo Sanchez-Coronado (left) was the ex-husband of Fresia Calderon, who was one of the people the service was being held to remember

Carlos Arturo Sanchez-Coronado (left) was the ex-husband of Fresia Calderon, who was one of the people the service was being held in memory of

An employee at the Junction Cafe on Cricklewood Lane who witnessed the arrest said: ‘There were a lot of police, armed police, they boxed the guy’s car in, just out here by the cafe.’

They said they saw one man arrested, adding: ‘There was another man, but he wasn’t taken away in the van.’

‘The windows of the car were all smashed up, but I didn’t see if that happened before the arrest or if the car was already like that,’ they added.

An employee at the Irish News shop on the street also witnessed the arrest, saying: ‘Yesterday afternoon about 3:30 there was quite a lot of noise, at least three cars and a lot of police. One man was taken away in the van and there was another man.’

Police said a man was arrested and taken into custody shortly before 4pm on Sunday afternoon.

An eyewitness told the Sun police made ‘heavy contact’ with the car, adding ‘I’ve never seen anything like it in my life – it happened so fast and became a major police operation in the blink of an eye.’

Four women and two children were injured in the attack outside the church on Saturday, with the youngest left in a life-threatening condition.

Police officers investigate the scene of the shooting near Euston station on Saturday night

Police officers investigate the scene of the shooting near Euston station on Saturday night

An invitation to the memorial service on Saturday urged people attending to wear white clothing in memory of the mother and daughter

An invitation to the memorial service on Saturday urged people attending to wear white clothing in memory of the mother and daughter

He has been taken into custody.

Three women – aged 48, 54 and 41 – were taken to a central London hospital.

Sources said that all of their injuries were there assessed and designated as non-life threatening.

Police said the 48-year-old has potentially life-changing injuries.

A 21-year-old woman was also taken to a central London hospital and her condition has been assessed as non life-threatening.

The seven-year-old girl remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition.

A 12-year-old girl who sustained a leg injury is expected to make a full recovery.

The shots sent mourners running and screaming, with many of them sheltering inside the church, witnesses said.

Father Jeremy Trood, who conducted the service, confirmed it was a Requiem Mass for Sara Sanchez, 20, and her mother, who both died in November.

Ms Sanchez suffered from leukaemia for three years before succumbing to the disease.

Her death came after her mother died suddenly from a rare blood clot on arrival at Heathrow from Colombia.

Source

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