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Police probe ‘criminal links’ of Swedish national shot dead in Battersea

Flamur Beqiri, 36, was gunned down in front of his family on Christmas Eve.

Police presence in Battersea Church Road, south London, following an incident where a man was shot dead on Tuesday (PA)
Police presence in Battersea Church Road, south London, following an incident where a man was shot dead on Tuesday (PA)

By Henry Vaughan, PA

Detectives are investigating whether a man was murdered in front of his family on Christmas Eve in a revenge attack over Swedish crime links.

Flamur Beqiri, 36, was gunned down outside his home in Battersea, in south-west London, at around 9pm as he returned with his wife and young child.

Scotland Yard said Beqiri, a Swedish national who has Albanian heritage, had been living in London for four or five years.

Detective Inspector Jamie Stevenson said he was shot multiple times in Battersea Church Road by a lone attacker who fled on foot.

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Police investigate the shooting in Battersea (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“Work is ongoing to determine what the possible motive could be, and while we retain an open mind, we are considering that this is a targeted attack,” he said.

“While I am mindful of concerns from the local community, we do not believe at this stage that there is any ongoing risk to members of the public.

“We believe Flamur may possibly have been involved in some criminality in Sweden, and are in liaison with our Swedish counterparts to try to understand what, if any, incidents there may have been that might have led to someone seeking retribution against Flamur in the UK.”

According to reports, Mr Beqiri is the brother of former Real Housewives Of Cheshire star Misse Beqiri and married his wife, Debora Krasniqi, in Cernobbio by Lake Como, Italy, in October 2018.

An article in Grace Ormonde Wedding Style magazine, which published photos of the occasion, revealed the couple first met through Facebook.

Ms Krasniqi told the magazine that the pair, initially just friends, “fell deeply in love” at his sister’s wedding after speaking for “endless hours over the phone”.

“There was always something special about our connection and bond,” she said.

Neighbours living near the scene of the shooting described hearing multiple gunshots followed by a woman screaming “desperately” for help.

Vittoria Amati, 60, said she heard between “eight to 10” gunshots fired in quick succession.

Mrs Amati told the PA news agency: “I then heard the screams of the wife. I came out and realised it was one of my neighbours.

“He was lying in front of his doorway in a pool of blood. He was still alive. We were really hoping he would make it.

“You have no idea how desperate she (his wife) sounded.”

No arrests have been made and the Metropolitan Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

“Flamur’s family, his wife and very young child, bore witness to this horrific attack and are coming to terms with having their world turned upside down. I ask that their privacy is respected at this terrible time,” said DI Stevenson.

“What is most important now is getting justice for Flamur’s family.

“The attack took place at nine in the evening. Not only would many people have been out going about their business, but I am sure many residents would have been alarmed by the sound of the disturbance and gone to see what had happened.”

The death is the 142nd homicide identified by the PA news agency in London in 2019, the highest number in a calendar year since 2008.

Last year, there were 141 police-recorded homicides in the capital, according to Home Office statistics.

PA

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