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Monday, July 19, 1999 Published at 20:10 GMT 21:10 UK


Thank God I'm alive - shot DJ

Tim Westwood: In a "stable" condition in a London hospital

BBC Radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood is under police guard in a London hospital after being injured in a drive-by shooting.

Speaking through his agent, the presenter said: "I thank God I'm alive and that everyone has survived.

"Everybody at the hospital has been great. I feel fine."

The BBC's Penny Wrout: "Police believe he may have been followed"
The DJ, who hosts a rap and hip-hop show, was among five people hurt when a gunman on a motorcycle opened fire on the car he was travelling in as it drove through Kennington, south London, on Sunday night.

Westwood was taken to St Thomas's Hospital, Lambeth, where he had an operation to clean the entry and exit wound in his right arm.

A hospital spokeswoman said: "Tim Westwood hopes to go home tomorrow."

A police spokeswoman said six people were injured in the shooting, which took place in the busy Kennington Park Road at around 2040 BST on Sunday.

[ image: The shooting took place on the busy Kennington Park Road]
The shooting took place on the busy Kennington Park Road
Two men on a motorcycle drew up alongside Westwood's car - believed to be a Range Rover - as it pulled up at traffic lights and fired a number of shots at point blank range.

Westwood's assistant, Ross Newman, was also shot in the incident, while four others sustained minor injuries, believed to have been caused by flying glass.

Newman, who is recovering in a bed next to Westwood, has had a similar operation to clean an entry and exit wound in his upper right leg.

After the shooting, the motorcycle sped off in the direction of the Elephant and Castle.

Appeal for witnesses

Westwood had been travelling back from an event in Brockwell Park, south London, at the time.

American rapper Puff Daddy: "I just don't think Tim Westwood deserved this"
Police are appealing for witnesses to the attack.

The police spokeswoman said: "We are particularly keen to hear from motorists in the area at the time who saw a motorcycle being driven erratically and at high speed.

[ image: Westwood was taken to St Thomas's Hospital in Lambeth]
Westwood was taken to St Thomas's Hospital in Lambeth
"The suspects were wearing multi-coloured crash helmets."

She added they were keeping an "open mind" on the motive behind the shooting.

Radio 1 said its controller Andy Parfitt had spoken to the DJ and wished him a speedy recovery.

Westwood is acknowleged to be one of the leading figures in the hip-hop and rap scene in the UK.

Jon Silverman reports: "Drive by shooting and gun fights in the street would once have been seen as an American scourge"
Brought up in west London, he left school at 16 and began his career carrying record boxes for local DJs, before helping to set up pirate station LWR.

Later, he was one of the co-owners of Kiss FM in London when it was an unlicensed station, then he joined Capital Radio, where he stayed for seven years.

He joined Radio 1 in 1994, as part of moves to make the station a more credible force in the UK music scene.

He has been credited with attracting other big names from the hip-hop and dance music scene to the station, and his Justice Productions company produces both his show and that of reggae DJ Chris Goldfinger.

The other passengers in the car were from Justice Productions.

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