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Shot man dies after London rioting

A young man shot in his car during last night's "unprecedented" rioting died today.

A murder hunt was launched as police announced that the 26-year-old victim had died after being admitted to hospital.

He was discovered in a car suffering from gunshot wounds at about 9.15pm as trouble flared in Croydon, south London, last night.

Croydon Council leader Mike Fisher said the cost of last night's rioting in the area would run into millions of pounds.

A total of 28 families were made homeless and placed in temporary accommodation but most would be able to return shortly.

Mr Fisher said: "I believe that this was inflicted by a very small minority of people, many of whom did not come from within Croydon.

"This is a mindless minority of thugs who think it is acceptable to cause damage, to steal goods and property just because they want to.

"What we have seen on an unprecedented and unparalled level is looting and arson of those buildings, some of which have been burnt to the ground.

"What we should remember is that this was not just shops but people were living above them.

"These people have no regard at all for human life or the danger that they were putting those families in."

A large uniformed police presence was seen in Croydon to reassure the public and CCTV images were being sifted to identify culprits.

Mr Fisher said he hoped the courts would punish them by "locking them up and throwing away the key".

He added that the Metropolitan Police were "horribly stretched" but said they were "absolutely brilliant" in their response to the disorder.

Reinforcements from police were asked for and received but arrived too late to save some properties from being attacked.

Mr Fisher denied suggestions that there was a policy to sacrifice one part of Croydon to protect other more affluent areas.

He said: "There is no doubt that this has damaged the image of Croydon but we have bounced back from the Second World War.

"I'm confident Croydon will be rebuilt and that the community will work very well together."

It took years to build Croydon's businesses but only hours to destroy some of them, Mr Fisher said.

Council chief executive Jon Rouse warned against anyone thinking of joining any further riots.

He said: "You are attacking your community and, secondly, you are likely to get caught because we have got so many CCTV images that will be followed up that will result in you having a criminal record."

Commander Simon Foy said the man was found inside the car last night and taken to a south London hospital, where he died this morning.

Two others in their late 20s have been arrested for handling stolen goods and taken to a south London police station, he added.

Officers from the force's Trident unit are investigating.

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