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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 October, 2004, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
Police 'baffled' by girl's murder
Danielle Beccan
Danielle died of a bullet wound to the abdomen
Police admit they are baffled by the murder of an innocent 14-year-old girl who was gunned down in Nottingham.

But friends of murdered Danielle Beccan say there were tensions in the area ahead of her shooting on Saturday.

She died from a gunshot wound yards from her home in the St Ann's area of the city.

Sandra Smith, 16, said: "Everyone knew that there was going to be a rumble between the St Ann's lot and people from Radford or The Meadows."

She added: "When Danielle was shot there was a gang of local boys roaming the area but they weren't with Danielle. This is a boy thing. Why kill an innocent girl?"

The congregation of Chasewood Baptist Church, where Danielle's family worship, paid tribute to her at their Sunday service.

Reverend Anna Ratcliffe has been comforting the family over the weekend and told BBC Radio Nottingham there is great shock and disbelief in the area and a growing sense that "enough is enough".

Danielle's grandfather, Alvin Beccan, was tearful as he spoke of his "friendly, easy-going" granddaughter, and how his family had been devastated by the drive-by shooting.

Speaking from his terraced home just a few minutes' walk from the scene of the tragedy, he said: "She was just easy-going. She was a nice girl.

"She was popular. All the family are cut up about it."

100 officers

Detectives had been working with local communities to reduce gun crime and there had been no gun murders for several months.

Danielle was walking home from Nottingham's Goose Fair in the early hours of Saturday and it is believed her mother came out of her home after hearing gun shots.

More than 100 officers are working on the case, with some carrying out house-to-house inquiries and others combing the area for clues.

Flowers left
Flowers and a teddy bear have been placed where Danielle was shot

Police confirmed they were in the area of the shooting within three minutes of receiving a call from the ambulance service.

Within 10 minutes of the initial call, armed officers were escorting ambulance crews to the injured girl.

Danielle died during emergency surgery at the Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham.

Danielle was going to her best friend's house for a birthday celebration sleep-over.

Janice Fogo, whose daughter Antoinette was with Danielle when the tragedy happened, said: "Antoinette takes her friends down to Goose Fair as part of her birthday celebrations and then they come back here for a sleep-over.

"We've been doing it for years. I was expecting them to all come through the door at any minute then I had a phone call to say that one of Antoinette's friends had been shot.

We are all so upset. It could have been any of us
Carla Browne, 16

"We just ran out of the house and went straight down there. It was heartbreaking."

Friends of Danielle described her as a popular girl who loved music and dancing. Her ambition was to be a beautician.

Carla Browne, 16, said: "I saw her laughing and joking on the dodgem cars only a couple of hours before she was dead.

"She was a really nice girl, not big-headed or one to cause trouble, just out enjoying herself. We are all so upset. It could have been any of us."

Another teenager, Michelle Martins, 16, said: "Danielle was a popular girl. She liked music and dancing and had just started at a new school.

"Whoever did this to her is scum. They think that because they have guns they are thugs. Too many people round here only want to be gangsters."




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



SEE ALSO:
Police hunt girl's 'evil killers'
10 Oct 04  |  Nottinghamshire
Force asking for more officers
10 Oct 04  |  Nottinghamshire


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