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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 October, 2004, 07:08 GMT 08:08 UK
Police hunt girl's 'evil killers'
Danielle Beccan
Danielle died of a bullet wound to the abdomen
Police are hunting the "evil" killers of a 14-year-old girl who was shot dead yards from her home as she walked back from a funfair.

Danielle Beccan was with friends in Nottingham when she was shot from a car in an apparently random attack.

Her mother heard gunshots and ran from the house to find her daughter slumped on the ground.

Danielle died on the operating table. A post-mortem test showed she had a single wound to the abdomen.

A police officer appealed to witnesses. "It could have been your daughter, your son," he said.

"These people are evil and they need to go to prison."

Nottinghamshire Police, who have more than 100 officers hunting the killer, said Danielle was shot at about 0030 BST on Saturday in the St Ann's area of the city.

Assistant chief constable Sue Fish said: "This is a truly wicked and callous crime.

We will work tirelessly to bring these people, who are responsible for this terrible crime, to justice
Assistant chief constable Sue Fish
"We will do everything in our power to find the people responsible."

Police believe Danielle spent the evening at the city's annual Goose Fair with friends.

A vehicle pulled up alongside them as they walked home and as many as six shots were fired.

She died despite emergency surgery at Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham.

More than 30 bouquets had been placed at the scene of the shooting by Saturday evening.

'Mistaken identity'

A 12-year-old girl cried as she left a card and told how Danielle was a "bubbly" person who attended the nearby Elliott Durham secondary school.

Another card read: "We will all miss Danielle very much. She was a special person in everyone's life."

One 17-year-old local, who did not want to be named, said she had gone to see what was happening after hearing gunshots and had tried to help Danielle.

She claimed she had seen a gold Citroen with blacked-out windows near Danielle and her friends.

Flowers left
More than 30 bouquets have been left where Danielle was shot

"I reckoned it was a case of mistaken identity because they were with a group of boys," she said.

"I reckon they were heading to get the boys but they shot the girl instead."

At a news conference, Ms Fish said Danielle's family was devastated by her death.

She denied a suggestion the area was lawless, saying: "We have worked extremely hard with local communities.

Yards from home

"This is the first shooting in the city for a number of months now.

"That does not make what happened this morning any better by a long chalk.

"We will work tirelessly to bring these people, who are responsible for this terrible crime, to justice."

Police believe the area was busy, as people were leaving the Goose Fair, off Gregory Boulevard and Mansfield Road.

You have got to come forward with information to put these people behind bars for life
Supt David Colbeck

Supt David Colbeck described Danielle as an "innocent 14-year-old" who was not part of a gang, but had simply been out with friends.

He said: "You have got to come forward with information to put these people behind bars for life.

"It could have been your daughter, your son. It could have been you, just walking home.

"These people are evil and they need to go to prison."

Nottingham Labour MP Graham Allen urged people not to be too frightened to report crime.

He said there was a link between most of the city's murders and "several key players in the drugs business".




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Nottingham Police hunt Danielle's killers



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