Cardinal’s message regarding horrific drive-by shooting at Catholic church in west London

Responding to the dreadful incident that occurred last Saturday outside St Aloysius’ Church, Somers Town, Cardinal Vincent issued this message:

“Please continue to keep all involved in this terrible incident in your prayers, especially the young girl whose injuries are reported to be serious.

“I am most grateful to Fr Jeremy Trood for the manner in which he has handled this most difficult and tragic incident, in which the Church was used as a shelter and a place of recovery for many who were present at that time.

“I extend my sympathy and support to the family and friends who came together to pray for the souls of their loved ones who had died and who have been confronted with an outrageous act of violence leaving some injured and all in distress.”

Detectives investigating the horrific drive-by shooting which left six people injured – including a seven-year-old girl who remains in a serious condition – have arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder.

The 22-year-old suspect was held after a car was stopped in Cricklewood Lane on Sunday afternoon, police said, and was still in custody today as the investigation continued.

Emergency services rushed to the corner of Eversholt Street and Phoenix Road on Saturday after shooters opened fire on a group of people gathering for a funeral service at St Aloysius Church. A car was seen leaving the scene.

Alongside the young girl, four women – aged 21, 48, 54 and 41 – were taken to hospital where their injuries were assessed as non-life threatening. The 48-year-old has potentially life-changing injuries, however. A 12-year-old girl was also treated for a leg injury and has now been discharged.

Around 300 people had been paying their respects to Fresia Calderon, 50, who died in November of a suspected blood clot after arriving in London on a flight from Colombia, Her daughter, 20-year-old Sara Sanchez, died three weeks later from leukaemia.

Superintendent Jack Rowlands, Neighbourhoods Superintendent for Camden and Islington, said:

“This was a shocking incident. People came here to attend a funeral, to be with friends and loved ones and to mourn together. Instead they were the victims of a senseless act of violence. We know it will have had a significant impact on communities across Camden and we will have a visible police presence in the local area in the coming days and weeks to provide extra reassurance.”