THE shooting of two teenagers in an alleyway sounded like children throwing poppers, a jury was told on Thursday.
Two bangs which were bullets being shot at Mohammed Abdi Farah, 19, and Amin Ahmed Ismail, 18, made a noise like something bought from a joke shop, St Albans Crown Court heard.
The victims, who were both of Somali origin, were murdered in Fishermead just after 10pm on May 26 last year in a dispute over drug ‘turf.’
After the first two shots were fired one of the killers, Fuad Awale, returned to the alleyway and shot Amin again, it is alleged.
Mohammed was declared dead at the scene, while Amin was taken to hospital and pronounced dead the next day.
Three men - also of Somali origin - Yahya Harun, 21, of Fishermead Boulevard, Milton Keynes, Sharmake Abdulkadir, 21, of The Fleet, Springfield, Milton Keynes and Fuad Awale, 24, of no fixed abode face two charges of murder.
Abdulkadir has also been charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
The witness – whose identity is being protected and is being called Charlie – was about to watch the television programme Celebrity Juice when there was a noise.
“I heard a couple of bangs. It was like children throwing poppers on the floor.
“I got up and went to the window to see what it was. I saw five teenagers running down the alleyway. They were in casual clothing. One was five foot three, two five foot 10 and two about five foot six. They stopped under a street lamp. It was a bit suspicious. There were standing in a circle by the playground entrance to Willow school. They looked like they were fiddling with something. I couldn’t see what it was.”
Charlie said the five foot three inch tall man, who the prosecution say is Awale, then ran back to the alleyway: “He was running quite fast with his arms moving. The other four broke up and walked to the end of the alley by Penryn Avenue. They stopped. The other man was out of vision for two to three minutes. The next thing he was jogging back to the bloke waiting at Penryn. His hood was flapping.
“They then just walked off towards Penryn Avenue towards the city centre.”
Opening the case Ben Gumpert, prosecuting, said: “The prosecution case is that Awale was a drug dealer. Abdulkadir was found to have a significant quantity of drugs in his house when he was arrested. One of the victims had been selling drugs on the day of the shootings. A dispute over ‘drug turf’, where individuals establish the right, if that is the word, to sell drugs. A dispute over the turf seems the likely motive for the killing.”
It is alleged that on the Saturday before the shootings Mohammed Farah was handing out free cannabis to other people without charge. When another witness guessed he had taken it from Awale’s stock, he laughed “as if in confirmation,” said the prosecutor.
He went on: “The prosecution case is that all three defendants were acting together when the two victims were shot. The prosecution case is that they were part of a group of five young men, although, for different reasons, the other two are not before the court. Whether it was Fuad Awale, Sharmake Abdulkadir, Yayar Harun or another of the group of five who actually fire the shots which killed the two victims is not of the first importance.”
The fatal shots were fired from a Belgian automatic pistol, found nearby on July 1 last year, which bore traces of DNA matching that of Sharmake Abdulkadir, the jury has been told.