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Appeal two years on from fatal shooting in Harlesden

News   •   Dec 08, 2015 05:30 GMT

[Image: Rowan Thomas-Williams]

Two years on from the murder of a man in Harlesden, his family continue to appeal for information and witnesses in the hope that the killer will be caught.

Ruth Thomas has made a second desperate plea for the public's help following the murder of her son Rowan Thomas-Williams, 20 who was shot dead on Friday, 6 December 2013. She continues to hope that despite the significant period of time, someone will come forward with that vital piece of information.

It is known that Rowan had spent the evening with close friends celebrating a birthday. Police were called at around 01:30hrs to reports of gunshots heard near Mulberry Court, Elgar Avenue, NW10. Officers attended but found no one with injuries.

Rowan was taken by friends to a nearby hospital, but as it did not have an Accident and Emergency department the London Ambulance Service were called and he was taken to a north-west London hospital.

Shortly before 02:00hrs, police were made aware that Rowan had attended a hospital suffering gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead later that morning.

A post-mortem examination held on 7 December 2013 at Northwick Park Hospital gave the cause of death as a gunshot wound to the chest.

The circumstances that led to Rowan's death are still unclear and detectives retain an open mind in regards to the motive, but they believe he was involved in an altercation near Mulberry Court, during which he was shot.

Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn of the Homicide and Major Crime Command (HMCC) said: "Two years is a very long time to go without answers and this has caused much distress to Rowan's loved ones. This was a callous and brutal murder of a young man and Rowan's mother and wider family have been left completely devastated. This is made even more difficult in that the person or people responsible have yet to be caught.

"I am convinced that someone knows who is responsible for killing Rowan and I am appealing to them to do the right thing and come forward and assist us with our investigation.

"We know that allegiances can change over time and I would like to reassure anyone who did not engage with us at the time of the murder that they can do so now. We understand that some might have some concerns about speaking to the police, but it is important that they do so and we can offer reassurance and support for those that can assist us with our enquiries.

"I am also directly appealing to the friends and family shielding those responsible. Now is not the time to stay silent. If you have the slightest indication that those you know were involved in this incident, I would encourage you to get them to hand themselves into the police.

"Rowan's mother is still grieving the loss of her son. She is bravely making another appeal two years on in the hope that someone will now come forward and help us identify those who killed her son."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the incident room on 0208 721 4805 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

On 6 December 2013, a 22-year-old man [A], a 49-year-old man [B] and a 49-year-old woman [C] were arrested near the scene on suspicion on murder. A 27-year-old man [D] was arrested later that same day on suspicion of murder. All were bailed pending further enquires. No further action was taken against [A, D and C] and [B] was re-arrested in connection with the murder. He has since been bailed to a date in January 2015.

On 7 January 2014, a 26-year-old man [E] was arrested on suspicion of murder. He was bailed pending further enquires to a date in January 2015.

Statement on behalf of Ruth Thomas - Rowan's mother:

"It's been two years since Rowan was killed and we still have no closure. If you have any information please come forward."

She previously said: "Rowan's loss is not only felt by me, but also his father, his children and his younger sisters. Rowan was only a young man when his life was taken. Rowan had his whole life ahead of him. He was at the age where he wanted to build a future for himself and his children.

"Rowan would visit me regularly; he was going to go to university to study media in the hope of having a career in music. We would always discuss this as a family where he would tell us about his dreams; I could see this would have a positive effect on his younger sisters.

"The loss of my son is heart wrenching, words cannot explain just how bad I feel. Rowan was my first born, we had that special bond, and he is and always will be my baby boy.

"I am still in shock and always will be. Rowan has been taken away and will never return. I believe that there are members of the local community who have information about what happened that night. I would plead for these people to come forward and tell the police.

"As a family we need closure, although this will never bring Rowan back I need to know why I will never see my son again."