Innocent family caught in crossfire as gunshots fired outside Dagenham schools

Police began a search after the incident in Ford Road, Dagenham.

Police began a search after the incident in Ford Road, Dagenham. - Credit: Archant

An innocent family was caught in the midst of a suspected gun fight after two cars collided outside a primary school.

One of the vehicles damaged in the incident yesterday

One of the vehicles damaged in the incident yesterday - Credit: Archant

The incident happened in Ford Road, Dagenham, outside the gates to Village Infants’ School and William Ford CofE Junior School at about 3.30pm yesterday – when hundreds of children would have been leaving for the day in term time.

Nearby residents said a family, including a man with two young girls and a baby, were caught up in the crossfire with one neighbour, who preferred to remain nameless, rushing out to rescue them.

“I looked out of the window and I saw a family was in the middle of it,” said the mum-of-three. “I was calling to them to ‘come here and be safe’, which they did.

“He had a tiny baby with him in a pram and two smaller girls. They were really shaken up.

“The little girl was saying: ‘They have got guns and knives’.”

She added one of the men told her “sorry you had to see that” as he ran back past her.

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All agreed the incident “could have been a lot worse” if pupils – currently on their Easter holidays – had been at school.

Mum-of-one Sharon Fraser, 47, said the incident had “shocked” her, adding: “You hear about it on the telly but you never think it is going to happen on your own doorstep. It is worrying.”

Jennifer Muhly, mum-of-two, added: “It’s horrifying when it happens on your own doorstep. It makes you more protective of the children.”

A number of residents mentioned seeing two cars, including a black Ford Focus which was found abandoned on the roadside, and another silver car, which they allege drove off from the scene.

Neither saw the man who fired the shots, but two reported hearing between three and five loud bangs.

Police were seen combing the area yesterday before the car was towed away, but have yet to make any arrests.

No-one is believed to have been injured.

Officers from the Met’s Trident Gang Crime Command are investigating and have appealed for witnesses to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 with any information.

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