Two teenage gang members involved in a ‘postcode battle’ shooting have been jailed after firing a gun into a chicken takeaway in a warning to rivals.
Adonijah Stewart, 18, and Dahmileon Allen, 19, opened fire into an alleyway and the DFC shop in a broad daylight attack in Rookery Road, Handsworth, Birmingham.
Shocking scenes caught on CCTV, show three hooded men storming across the road and between traffic with pistols.
Terrified customers and staff are seen fleeing as others seen scramble over the takeaway counter in a desperate attempt to dodge the deadly gunfire.
The third gunman was never identified, but Stewart and Allen – both members of the B19 gang – were sentenced to five years and eight months each in prison on Friday, March 12.
Stewart, 17 at the time, and Allen, 18 during the incident, both pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence at previous hearings.
The pair had been passengers in a blue Peugeot car, driven from Melbourne Avenue in Lozells to the scene of the shooting on April 20 last year, Birmingham Crown Court heard.
Armed with modified pistols, likely passed on by ‘senior’ gang members who instructed them to do their ‘bidding’, the teens arrived to shoot at between five or six rivals in the street.
Gang rivals are seen running into the chicken shop as three hooded men storm across the road and between traffic with pistols on Rookery Road, Handsworth, Birmingham
The shocking CCTV shows gang shooting into the DFC chicken shop in Birmingham
The two gunmen had been passengers in a blue Peugeot car, driven from Melbourne Avenue in Lozells to the scene of the shooting on April 20 last year, Birmingham Crown Court heard
Peter McCartney, prosecuting, told the court: ‘Mr Stewart led the way alone, followed closely behind by Mr Allen.
‘Mr Allen had run from the Peugeot, his aim was first concentrated on those fleeing down the alleyway. Smoke can be seen on the footage and so was the kick back of the discharge.
‘There was a high risk of serious disorder as there was a possibility of retaliation from the other gang. The ammunition was modified to make it more dangerous.’
Following the shooting, in which no-one was hurt, the trio fled in the getaway car and were back in Melbourne Avenue within minutes, the court heard. The guns were likely handed back to the gang and were still ‘available for further crimes’, it was said.
Terrified customers and staff were sent fleeing, with others seen scrambling over the takeaway counter in a desperate attempt to dodge the deadly gunfire
A man is seen jumping over the takeaway counter to hide from the gunmen
Stewart’s catalogue of previous offences were detailed to the court – ranging from possession of a knife and attempted robbery when he was just 14, to possession of crack cocaine and battery in his later teens.
His defence argued he had been, and was being at the time of the offence, ‘exploited’ by the gang.
Defending Stewart, Balbir Singh said: ‘Back in June last year, and it seems even earlier, a senior social worker had grave concerns about the particular company he was keeping and that, not only was he heavily under the influence of others, but he thought he was being exploited.
‘When you have those pressures upon you at such a young age, it does reduce the culpability.’
‘He was identified and arrested easily. He is not that sophisticated or clever. He has demonstrated remorse and regret and wishes he could turn back time.’
Richard Butcher, defending Allen, told the judge: ‘I would suggest those gang members care very little about the actual age of those who they send out to do their bidding.
DFC Chicken in Rookery Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, where the shooting took place
‘Age does not play a part in the offending. They are two young men sent out to do the bidding of others and they must suffer the consequences.’
Mr Butcher said Allen understood the sentence had to be a deterrent, adding that otherwise ‘there would be chaos on the streets of Birmingham’.
‘He wants to start taking courses in prison. He is, for once, completely motivated. He has the support of his girlfriend and mother,’ he continued.
Stewart and Allen, of Mere Road in Erdington, will remain on licence for four years after they are released, meaning they will be recalled to prison if they commit another offence during that period.
Sentencing the gang members one after the other due to Covid-19 rules, Judge Martin Hurst first told Stewart: ‘The facts are disturbing, though tragically not unfamiliar.
‘A large part of this was captured on CCTV, anyone who saw it would be genuinely terrified. They were not imitation firearms, they were genuine.
‘There is no distinction between the two of you.
‘It is the youngest members of the gang that have to do the dirty work. There has to be a sentence which involves a level of deterrent.’
And jailing Allen, he said: ‘This was a gang attack. You were driven to the scene into Handsworth where rivals live.
‘This was a postcode gang battle. Upon arrival where the DFC chicken shop is you both got out of the car with self-loading pistols before advancing in a terrifying fashion.
‘One discharged into an alley and one into DFC. Upon arrest you made no comment. I conclude you are a dangerous offender. You do pose a significant risk of causing serious harm to others.
‘If you come out of prison and go back to the gang, every day you are in a gang, you will remain a substantial threat of being murdered.
‘There are people who love you and want you to break away from that, it’s your choice. Only you can do it.’