A BBC documentary has revealed how forensic evidence played a vital role in securing the convictions of three men involved in a double crossbow murder.
Khuzaimah Douglas was murdered by Omar Ramzan, his father Saghawat Ramzan and family friend Mohammed Sageer after a gang raid on a cannabis crop at their property in Dudley in February 2020.
Saghawat Ramzan was also convicted of accidentally murdering his own brother Waseem Ramzan, who was shot by a bolt from the same weapon aimed at Mr Douglas.
BBC2 documentary Forensics: The Real CSI has detailed how West Midlands police gathered enough evidence to charge the killers by enlisting forensic pathologists, ballistic experts, and imaging experts who recovered ‘destroyed’ CCTV footage from the incident.
The crossbow used by Saghawat Ramzan to kill his relative Waseem Ramzan (pictured)
Saghawat Ramzan (pictured left grabbing a large crossbow and right his first attempt to fire it at gang) was convicted of murdering his brother Waseem Ramzan and rival gang member Khuzaimah Douglas
Wolverhampton Crown Court was shown the footage, which included the moment Saghawat Ramzan shot his brother in the stomach with the ‘horrific’ crossbow during a four-on-one punishment beating intended to kill or maim Mr Douglas.
The behind-the-scenes documentary begins with police arriving at the scene of the incident after a neighbour reported that a house was being smashed up and a group were beating someone up outside it.
Investigators discovered the body of a 19-year-old man, who they later discover to be Mr Douglas, quickly noticing he had highly unusual injuries.
‘That wound was very specific, sometimes you’ll get a wound that can only be from a certain object or implement, but with this one, I can’t say what, I just don’t know’, said Senior Collision Investigator Andy Salt.
Khuzaimah Douglas, 19, (left) was killed after a gang raid on a cannabis crop at their property in Dudley in February 2020 . Waseem Ramzan, 36, (right) was rushed to hospital where he died a short time after being shot
Investigators turned their attention to a white Audi that had crashed near the victim’s body, where they discovered a phone which was sent to digital forensic specialists for examination.
After cracking the code to the device, examination of the mobile suggested that its owner, Mr Douglas, was involved in the robbery of a cannabis factory.
Forensic investigators then entered the house, where they found a cannabis farm prosecutor Adrian Keeling QC later said was worth up to £225,000 a year.
The case was later handed to DCI Jim Munro of the the homicide department in Birmingham, led by Dale Robinson, who discovered the property belonged to the Ramzan family, and that Waseem Ramzan had been taken to a local hospital at 4am.
Waseem Ramzan, 36, died in hospital after the bolt that struck him was removed and hidden near the scene, and the forensics team drew the attention to the ‘distinctive’ puncture wound found on the body.
How drug dealer Saghawat Ramzan used a crossbow to murder his own brother and a rival gang member
Convicted drug-dealer Saghawat Ramzan, 47, killed kickboxer Khuzaimah Douglas around a minute after fatally injuring his younger brother Waseem Ramzan, 36, by mistake after a raid on the family’s cannabis factory in Brierley Hill, Dudley.
Ramzan, his son Omar and family friend Mohammed Sageer were all jailed for life for their roles in killing the two victims at Wolverhampton Crown Court in March.
All three men were unanimously convicted of murdering Mr Douglas.
Saghawat Ramzan shot his brother in the stomach during a four-on-one beating in response to a burglary at the cannabis grown farm.
A second bolt travelling at 270ft-per-second was fired at 19-year-old Mr Douglas less than a minute later, causing fatal internal injuries.
Mr Douglas was shot while being held on the ground and died at the scene outside the Ramzans’ home in Brierley Hill in the early hours of February 20 last year. Waseem Ramzan died in hospital.
Judge Chambers said of the fatal struggle: ‘This was no fight. Khuzaimah Douglas was subjected to a concerted assault.
‘I am afraid, in relation to Khuzaimah Douglas you have shown no remorse.
‘I am satisfied this was a murder done for gain, namely the protection of the cannabis production operation.’
When Saghawat and Omar Ramzan disappeared from the hospital, a man hunt was launched for their arrest and police obtained a warrant to search their property.
Inside their front door, investigators found two crossbows, two crossbow bolts in the hallway and two in the garden.
‘It’s a major breakthrough, the forensics around the crossbows is going to be essential for us’, said Munro, ‘Because what that is going to allow us to know is who has handled those weapons, and how are they linked to the people who have tragically died.’
The crossbows and bolts were sent to the major crime lab for analysis while DCI Jim Munro joined forensic pathologist Dr Brett Lockyer and one of the UK’s leading ballistic experts.
The experts test fired an identical model of the weapon and were able to link it the distinctive markings found on both of the victims.
‘In my experience of dealing with murders this was rare, almost unique, a crossbow being used in an offence. So that’s where we would ask a ballistics expert to explain the use of the weapon, the capability of the weapon’, said Munro.
Elsewhere in the Ramzan’s property investigators discovered a CCTV system which, after being taken in for examination, was found to be missing footage from the night of the murders.
The West Midlands force’s imaging team were able to use a new tool, only available to two forces in the country, that has the specialist capability to be able to read raw data and recover the scenes that had been wiped.
They found footage that showed two men running away from a smashed window carrying a cannabis plant, and were able to confirm the murder victim was part of a group of burglars targeting the Ramzan’s cannabis factory.
The footage showed the other murder victim, Waseem Ramzan, running to alert his nephew and brother of the rival gang breaking into the cannabis house and Saghawat and Omar Ramzan emerging from their home both carrying crossbows.
With the group of burglars still in the house, Saghawat Ramzan is seen firing the larger crossbow at one of their drivers.
Detectives identify Kazima Douglas as one of the last people to leave the house, and the footage shows struggle at the edge of the camera between the two murder victims on the side of the road.
Alongside the CCTV evidence, investigators later received postmortem reports which concluded that both victims died from injuries inflicted by a crossbow.
Meanwhile, forensic testing of the larger crossbow revealed a clear finger print mark in blood found to match the characteristics of Saghawat Ramzan.
The men were arrested and later charged with the murder of Mr Douglas and Waseem Ramzan. All three men were unanimously convicted of murdering Mr Douglas and jailed for life.
Omar Ramzan and Edinburgh-born Sageer were cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter in relation to Waseem Ramzan’s death.
‘Without the forensic evidence in this case we would have struggled fully understood what had taken place’, said Munro.
‘It’s around that CCTV recovery, it’s around those forensic pieces of evidence that we’ve got to link the suspects. But ultimately it provides us with clear evidence that Saghawat is the person who had the finger on the trigger.’
Forensics: The Real CSI begins on Tuesday, July 6 on BBC Two at 9pm