LONDON—A gunman shot dead a rival from another gang outside a community centre in east London where a child's first birthday party was being held, a jury has been told.
Six men went on trial at the Old Bailey on Friday charged with the murder of Kacey Boothe, 25, who was shot dead in Walthamstow, north east London at around 9.20 p.m. on Aug. 13, 2022.
The drive-by shooting took place near Peterhouse Community Centre, where a children's party was taking place.
Ka-Amni Brightly-Donaldson, 22, Jeffrey Gyimah, 20, Kammar Henry-Richards, 24, Kadeem Brightly-Barnes, 30, Roody Thomas, 25, and Joao Pateco-Te, 26, all deny murder and conspiracy to murder.
All six also deny possession of a firearm in August 2022 and Mr. Gyimah, Mr. Thomas, and Mr. Brightly-Donaldson deny conspiracy to possess a firearm on Sep. 28, 2022, and conspiracy to possess crack and heroin on the same date.
'Carefully Orchestrated Attack'Mr. Orchard said: "The shooting was a well-planned and carefully orchestrated attack. It took place against a background of a series of violent incidents, including shootings, arising from the rivalry between two Hackney gangs, London Fields, with which Kacey Boothe and his friend Khalid Samanter associated, and the E9’ers—also known as Holly Street—with which these defendants associated."
A child related to Mr. Samanter was celebrating a first birthday party at the community centre and Mr. Boothe had just left the party and got into his car when he was targeted.
He was shot seven times and died in hospital after being driven there by a friend.
Mr. Orchard said the police believe Mr. Samanter was the actual target on the night of the shooting.
He said: "In the hours, days, and even months preceding Aug. 13, 2022, the two gangs had subjected each other to a series of violent incidents involving shootings and a stabbing. On at least one occasion an entirely innocent member of the public had ended up as a victim."
Victim's Brother Shot by Same Gun in 2020The prosecutor said the gun used to kill Kacey Boothe in August 2022 had been fired on eight different occasions and was also used to shoot and injure his older brother, Kyle Boothe, on Aug. 1, 2020.
"So, both brothers were shot by the same gun but two years apart," Mr. Orchard told the jury.
"We suggest the three shootings in August 2022, and that on Aug. 1, 2020, are linked by either those involved, or those attacked, or a similar methodology," he added.
Mr. Orchard suggested the defendants were very well aware of how the police tracked and traced criminals in murder cases.
He said: "They tried hard to hide traces of who was involved in, and at, each incident. Planning involved higher-end motor vehicles being stolen to order, number plates being cloned and fitted to these stolen vehicles, a secret hiding place being created within one of their own vehicles to hide a gun and contraband, petrol used to clean at least one firearm, phones being switched off so they couldn’t be tracked or traced, post-attack disposal of the stolen vehicles used, by arranging for them to be cut up and disposed of, in an attempt to leave no forensic trace or link to the shootings incidents."
The trial—which was delayed by a shortage of dock officers at the Old Bailey—is expected to last up to eight weeks.