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​Nine-year-old caught in drive-by London shooting squeezes her father’s hand as hope rises for the schoolgirl

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A girl fighting for life after a drive-by shooting is responding to her parents’ voices and squeezed her father’s hand yesterday.

The nine-year-old, who was shot in the head while having dinner with her family in an east London restaurant last Wednesday night, is said to be ‘improving’, according to a close family friend.

It is understood that the family from Birmingham, who were visiting friends for the half-term holiday, had not planned to eat at the Turkish restaurant in Hackney and only stopped there en route because the child suddenly felt hungry.

The girl was shot at Evin restaurant in Kingsland High Street just after 9pm. The shooter on a Ducati Monster motorbike pulled up and began firing at three men sitting outside, believed to be his targets.

The men of Turkish origin, aged 37, 42 and 44, were injured and the girl was caught in the hail of bullets, with one said to have lodged in her head.

A girl fighting for life after a drive-by shooting is responding to her parents' voices and squeezed her father's hand yesterday

A girl fighting for life after a drive-by shooting is responding to her parents’ voices and squeezed her father’s hand yesterday

Pictured: Forensic officers gather evidence at the scene in Dalston, east London

Pictured: Forensic officers gather evidence at the scene in Dalston, east London

The girl was shot at Evin restaurant in Kingsland High Street just after 9pm on May 29

The girl was shot at Evin restaurant in Kingsland High Street just after 9pm on May 29 

One of the men has been discharged from hospital and the other two are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The girl has been on a ventilator since Wednesday. Doctors have performed one operation but were unable to remove the bullet, the family friend said.

But, he added, on Friday doctors began reducing her sedation to see how she responded and yesterday, her family were delighted when she squeezed her father’s hand.

The friend said: ‘She is on a ventilator but she is responding to some things, which is good. When they [her parents] say something, she responds, like moving her finger.

‘Her father spoke with her this morning and she responded, she squeezed his hand, she pressed it.’ He said doctors will remove the bullet in another operation but that may be some days away.

The friend, who speaks regularly with the girl’s father on the phone, said her parents were a lot more optimistic. He said: ‘Doctors are saying it will be good.’

Pictured: Emergency services at the scene in Dalston, east London

Pictured: Emergency services at the scene in Dalston, east London

Pictured: Police guard the cordon at the scene in Dalston, east London

Pictured: Police guard the cordon at the scene in Dalston, east London

The girl has been on a ventilator since Wednesday. Doctors have performed one operation but were unable to remove the bullet, the family friend said

The girl has been on a ventilator since Wednesday. Doctors have performed one operation but were unable to remove the bullet, the family friend said

The parents are both IT professionals in Birmingham. As their daughter – described as ‘intelligent and active’ and who loves painting – was on her half-term holiday, they came to London to visit friends.

The friend said the family did not plan to go to the restaurant. But the girl felt hungry and told her parents she wanted to eat.

When shots rang out, she was sitting at a table with her family by the front window while the three men – believed to be linked to a Hackney gang – were at a table outside.

The motorbike, with red wheels and the registration DP21 OXY, was stolen three years ago from a property in Wembley, north London.

Police have appealed to London’s Turkish and Kurdish communities for information over the attack.



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