The priest who was conducting a memorial service at the church where six people were shot at the weekend has described the scenes as “pandemonium”.
A seven-year old-girl was critically injured in the shooting outside St Aloysius Roman Catholic Church on 14th January. Five other people were also taken to hospital, with one woman believed to have suffered life-changing injuries.
Fr Jeremy Trood told Sky News the congregation was outside about to release some doves when he heard an “enormous bang”. People who were leaving the church then rushed back in screaming, saying shots had been fired.
"There are no words that can describe what had happened and I can't imagine why anybody could possibly do such a thing,” he said. “There were hundreds of people in the church coming out. It was pandemonium."
Police have said initial enquiries suggest the shots came from a moving vehicle which was then driven away from the scene.
Carl Knightly, director of church networks at London City Mission advised how Christian can respond to such a horrific incident.
“We were shocked and devastated to hear this awful news, particularly for this seven-year-old girl,” he told Premier.
“We have missionaries all across London, equipping and supporting churches. I'm sure at the moment, there'll be a real emphasis on just listening and praying and seeing how we can support those churches in the area in what's going to be a very difficult time.
“It just feels really unreal and brutal, almost the sort of thing you'd expect to see in another country or in a film. I think it reminds us that life is fragile. As Christians we can find our reassurance in the Lord, but also it reminds us that we need to take every day and make the most of it in terms of how we can share the Good News of Jesus. But I think at a basic human level, it makes us think about how we can be kinder to our friends and family and think about other people.
“All of these things, cause a stain on our society. I think what we can do as Christians and particularly through churches is really reach out into our communities. Knock on those doors, welcome people in, go out to people. I think as people come around church and hear the hope that we have to offer. Hopefully, they'll feel less hopeless and perhaps seek answers in places which are darker.”
Fr Jeremy said the memorial service he had been conducting was for 20-year-old Sara Sanchez, who died from leukaemia in November and her mother, who passed away from a rare blood clot the same month.
A 22-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.