11 Aug 2011

Three arrested over Birmingham hit-and-run

Three people have been arrested over the deaths of three men who were hit by a car while protecting shops from looters. Channel 4 News has spoken to the brother of two of the hit-and-run victims.

West Midlands Police said the suspects – aged 16, 17 and 26 and all from Birmingham – had been detained on suspicion of murder by officers investigating the deaths of the men in the Winson Green area of the city.

A spokeswoman for the force also confirmed that a 32-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder early yesterday had been released on bail pending further inquiries.

Haroon Jahan, 21, and brothers Shahzad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31 suffered fatal injuries when they were struck by a car which failed to stop shortly after 1am on Wednesday.

Abdul Quddos, older brother of Ali and Musavir, 31, spoke about his younger brothers’ death in an interview with Channel 4 News.

Describing the horrific scenes as they lay dying on the pavement, he said: “I didn’t know where to go because one of my brothers was to my right, and one to my left – I couldn’t get to none of their aid in time. You can’t do nothing … the paramedics are trying their best and they’re right in front of your face and there’s no pulse and no heart-rate – what would you imagine?”

He described their relationship as “very close, we were so close – like three musketeers… they will be always in my heart.”

News of the further arrests was announced after the Chief Constable of the West Midlands praised the father of the other victim for appealing for calm in the local community.

After the deaths, it emerged that Haroon’s father attempted to revive his son after hearing the car speed away from the scene in Dudley Road, Winson Green.

In an emotional appeal for calm to crowds gathered in Dudley Road on Wednesday night, Tariq Jahan urged those involved in disorder to “respect the memories of our sons” by halting the violence which had broken out on previous nights.

West Midlands Police said last night passed peacefully with no further outbreaks of disorder following Mr Jahan’s appeal.

Chief Superintendent Phil Kay said: “Last night we worked closely with the communities of the West Midlands to appeal for calm and it is pleasing to see that these appeals were listened to and the streets remained quiet and peaceful.

“Our focus was on maintaining a high-visibility presence throughout the night and early hours, which helped prevent any further disorder.

“We have seen the benefits of social media being used responsibly to send positive messages about the situation in the West Midlands and to dispel malicious rumour and innuendo.

“We would like to thank the community for their ongoing support.”

The victims’ death were described by Prime Minister David Cameron, who visited Birmingham and Wolverhampton yesterday, as a “dreadful incident”.