Birmingham: Three men killed protecting community in riots

Three men were mowed down by a car and killed while protecting their community from looters, it was claimed.

The trio - including two brothers - were on guard protecting shops at 1am today in the Winson Green area of Birmingham when the car was driven at them, a witness said.

Two of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene and the third died this morning in City Hospital.

Speaking to the media outside the hospital, which is less than a mile from crime scene, Mohammed Shakiel said the car sped off after striking the men at up to 50mph.

The victims, aged between 20 and 31, were part of a group of men gathered to protect shops used by all sections of the community, Mr Shakiel said.

The 34-year-old carpenter said: “We got a call that there had been a car that had been set alight and a group of youths had moved further up the road.

“They put the fire out but there were still yobs on the street - they had no agenda other than simple stealing.”

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He added that several cars then drove past the group on guard, and the occupants shouted abuse before one vehicle returned and mounted the pavement at “tremendous speed” and hit the men, throwing them into the air.

Mr Shakiel said of the victims, who have not yet been named: “They lost their lives for other people, doing the job of the police.

“They weren’t standing outside a mosque, a temple, a synagogue or a church - they were standing outside shops where everybody goes.

“They were protecting the community as a whole.”

West Midlands Police launched a murder inquiry, confirmed they had arrested a 32-year-old man on suspicion of murder and recovered a car.

The force said it was understood that the three victims were on foot in Dudley Road when the incident occurred.

Another witness, Kabir Khan Isakhel, said: “People came out of prayers (at a local mosque) and they were protecting the area.

“My friends were targeted - they were standing on the side of the road and the car just came and ran them over.”

Another friend of the victims, who declined to give his name, said one of the men ran a local car wash, while another worked as a mechanic.

Paramedics said when they attended the victims they were met by scores of bystanders.

“The incident took place close to the Jet filling station on Dudley Road in Winson Green at approximately 1.15am,” a West Midlands Ambulance spokesman said.

“Three ambulances, two rapid response vehicles and an incident support officer was sent to the scene.

“When crews arrived, they found around 80 people at the scene with resuscitation ongoing on three men.

“Crews used their advanced life support skills while police officers provided support.”

A police spokesman said forensics experts will examine the vehicle and appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or who has information in connection with the incident is urged to contact West Midlands Police on 0345 113 5000.

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