Little Heath shooting – the community speaks out after shots fired on the city street

When police taped a small heath street and began photographing evidence, locals knew very little about what had happened the night before.

But several branded police vehicles along with uniformed, plainclothes and forensic scientists did not leave much to the imagination.

A long and extensive roadblock began at the intersection of Bolton Road and Arthur Street and continued all the way up to Regents Park Community Primary School next to Pritchett Tower.

UPDATES: Police are hunting for an armed man who injured a teenage boy in the Small Heath shooting

The passenger window of a red Ford Fiesta had been punctured by a small hole and shattered.

The West Midlands Ambulance Service first confirmed that an incident had taken place, with a statement saying paramedics had been involved in an “assault”.

They said a teenager whose condition was not serious had received treatment on the spot before being taken to the hospital.

Police later expanded, saying a 17-year-old had been blown in the face with a gun.

Arthur Street is a relatively wide road made narrow by cars parked on both sides.

Neighbors putting out their bins got a quick look at the police scene, but few actually stayed to find out what was going on.

There was a sense that this incident was not particularly shocking, neither to residents of Small Heath nor to those across the city.

Paramedics were called to 18 shootings last year in Birmingham, according to new data revealed by Birmingham Live.

Just two weeks ago, in a separate incident, a Small Heath street was cordoned off after shots were fired near the Maarif-e-Islam mosque on Herbert Road.

And days before that, in another separate incident, an 18-year-old was tragically stabbed to death on nearby Coventry Road.

A resident who asked not to be named said the last few months had seen several police incidents in the area.

“In the last few months, I’ve seen a lot of police cars,” he said.

The man added that although he felt safe in the area, it was not something those who grew up in Little Heath should meet on a regular basis.

“I do not think it is good for children to see this every day,” he said. “It’s not good for them.”

Also on social media, people were not surprised that Small Heath had become the center of yet another violent incident.

Hundreds responded to our Facebook video live from the site.

Sabrina Jan said: “This is [an] weekday [story] in Little Heath, I’m afraid. “

Eddie O Rourke wrote: “When I came here to Brum years ago, Small Heath, Sparkbrook and Sparkhill [were] good places [with] none of this goes on, so why has it been like this with knives and weapons over the last year? “

Andrew Knowles replied: “These types of incidents happen because they do [you] ever seen the police in Lille Hede? No. You can walk up and down Coventry Road every day and never see a police car. “

And Christina Wilkie added: “This is getting worse in Birmingham, things need to be done now with this gun crime.”

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At the scene, residents were told they could not remove their vehicles if they were within the extensive barrier, warning that hours could pass before it was lifted.

One asked what had happened and was told that there had only been one “serious incident”.

A caretaker at the nearby Pritchett Tower said he came to work and saw the scene.

“I came here about a quarter past six,” he said. “I do not know what’s going on.

“From what I can see there is a shot through the window.”

Now officers want to hear from anyone who has information about the person who fired the gun – and why.

West Midlands Police said in a statement: “We are investigating after a gun was fired at a car in Arthur Street, Small Heath, just after 10.35pm yesterday (December 28).

A 17-year-old boy from the vehicle was taken to hospital with a face injury that is not life-threatening.

“We understand the concerns of the community that this incident will cause, and we are conducting CCTV and other inquiries to try to determine who was responsible.

“We’re eager to hear from anyone with information that may help our investigation of who did this and why.”

There are still details to be revealed about this incident.

But one thing is for sure: it was not the first potentially fatal incident on the streets of Birmingham, and it will not be the last.

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