Surveillance video shows shooting that paralyzed girl, 5, in London

Girl caught in gang rivalry crossfire
Girl caught in gang rivalry crossfire

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Girl caught in gang rivalry crossfire 01:46

Story highlights

  • 5-year-old girl was left permanently paralyzed by the shooting
  • She was playing in her uncle's shop when gang members fired through the door, police say
  • The men have been convicted in London of charges including attempted murder
  • A man in the store was also hit and still has bullet fragments in his head, police say
Wearing a pink dress and red cardigan, her long hair in pigtails, 5-year-old Thusha Kamaleswaran skips and twirls in the aisle of her uncle's small London store.
These are the last dance steps she will take.
Surveillance video from the store, used in the conviction of three men Monday, shows Thusha swept up by panicked people and moments later lying on the shop floor, unable to get up.
She was knocked down by a bullet to the chest fired through the store's open door by three men as they pursued members of a rival gang.
The gunshot has left Thusha, now 6, paralyzed and still under hospital care a year later.
The little girl's heart stopped twice in the night after she was shot, and she was only saved by emergency surgery in the store and later at a hospital, London's Metropolitan Police said.
Her pretty face smiles shyly from the covers of several national newspapers Tuesday, her story one that has touched the nation. "Gunned down as she danced" and "Senseless" read headlines in The Sun and the Daily Mirror.
CCTV video shows moment kid is shot
CCTV video shows moment kid is shot

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CCTV video shows moment kid is shot 00:44
Thusha is not the only innocent bystander to bear the scars of what police say was crossfire from a south London gang feud.
Fragments of bullet remain inside 35-year-old Roshan Selvakumar's head after he was hit in the face as he shopped for groceries. The fragments cannot safely be removed, police say.
The three men convicted, Anthony McCalla, Kazeem Kolawole and Nathaniel Grant, were tracked down after detectives viewed more than 700 hours of closed-circuit footage seized from more than 150 cameras, the police said.
One grainy video clip shows McCalla mimicking a ride-by shooting as he cycles down a street minutes before the attack. Another reveals Kolawole dumping the gray top he wore on the night of the shooting in a trash can.
All three were found guilty Monday on charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and attempted murder in the shooting in March 2011.
They are due to be sentenced at the Old Bailey court in London on April 19.
Thusha's parents, who agreed that the heartbreaking footage of their daughter's final moments of carefree dance should be released for the first time Monday, paid tribute to the emergency workers who saved her life.
"We are very happy justice has been done," they said.
Detective Superintendent Gordon Allison said both Thusha -- whom he described as just "a baby" -- and Selvakumar were "innocent victims caught up in McCalla, Grant and Kolawole's intent on committing violence that night."
All three had chosen to take part in gang crime, he said, adding: "The shooting caused widespread shock and disbelief but they have never shown any remorse for their actions."
At the start of this year, changes were made to the way the Metropolitan Police tackles gang crime, he said, and there have been 500 arrests since February.
The issue of gang violence gained national prominence when London and other cities were shaken by several days of rioting last summer.
In London, 19% of those arrested were reported to be affiliated with a gang, according to a Home Office study published in October.