Catford business owners fear rising crime rates after father-of-four is shot dead on way home from night out

Catford business owners have raised fears of rising crime rates in the area after a father-of-four was shot dead in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Shaquille Graham, 30, was killed at around 4.30am in Catford Broadway.

He was pronounced dead at the scene opposite Lewisham Town Hall and the Broadway Theatre. Police and London Ambulance Service crews had found him with a single gunshot wound.

And residents and businesses owners in the area say they have been left in shock following the shooting.

A spokesman for Catford Broadway Theatre, who did not want to be named, said: “The atmosphere in the area has been very heavy and low, especially in the morning after it happened. As we came into work we saw the scene with the police investigating.” 

No arrests have been made at this stage as the Met continues its enquiries. Police said Mr Graham’s next of kin are being supported by family liaison officers.

Jacqueline Lewis, 41, of Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, works at the Catford Broadway branch of the Salvation Army. She said: “I was told about the shooting by two of my volunteers.

“It happened right next to the bus stop I wait at every night to get home. It’s really worrying. We have some student volunteers working here at the weekend, it doesn’t feel safe.

“It’s just another thing. It keeps happening. The crime rate in this area is so high and it’s always right outside our shop.”

Less than three months ago, on December 20, 2023, a 16-year-old boy was left with life-changing injuries after he was stabbed in broad daylight near the Tesco Express in Bromley Road, Catford.

Mr Graham had reportedly been at the night club Silks when he had stepped outside and was shot (Picture: Google Street View)

Figures from Data Police – which uses Government data – shows there were 438.6 crimes per 1,000 residents in Catford Broadway in 2023. The most common crimes in the area were violence related or sexual harassment. 

These figures are almost four times higher than the annual total crime rate in Lewisham, which is recorded at 121 crimes per 1,000 residents in the borough.

Mr Graham’s friend, Luke Wilson, said he was a “good soul” and was killed in a case of mistaken identity, the Evening Standard reported.

The 31-year-old, who trains young boxers to help steer them away from crime, said he had attended a music event at Silks with Mr Graham – a club near where the shooting took place – when the victim stepped outside and was shot.

Mr Wilson told the Evening Standard: “He lived for his family and was a great dad. He came from another area of London but he was loved around here.”

Mr Wilson said there was “no hope” for future generations if people like Shaquille were getting killed.

Detective Superintendent Brian Hobbs, investigating, said: “Although the shooting happened in the middle of the night, it happened in a busy road and there will have been witnesses who may have seen or heard something.

“I would urge anyone with any information, who hasn’t already contacted police, to contact us urgently. We are determined to secure justice for Shaquille’s grieving family and friends.

“Anyone with information is asked to call 101 or ‘X’ @MetCC quoting CAD1160/10Mar. You can also provide information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.

“Information can also be given directly to police via the online portal here.

Pictured top: Shaquille Graham, 30, has been identified as the victim of the attack (Picture: The Met)

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