Brothers convicted of Croydon drive-by shotgun attack on law student
Two brothers who shot an innocent law student in the face as he was returning home from a night out have been convicted for their parts in the attack.
The 20-year-old victim had been on his way home near West Croydon train station when he stopped to speak to people in the street. A shotgun was fired out of a window in his direction in the drive-by shooting just after 1.30am on Saturday, 1 August last year.
The victim was struck by a number of shotgun pellets on his cheek, forehead and eye, leaving him with blurred vision and a bloodied face. He fell to the ground and was rushed to hospital with a possible life-changing facial injury.
Brothers Janiah Johnson-White, 25, and Jamal Johnson-White, 24, were both found guilty for their parts in the attack following a trial at Inner London Crown Court, which concluded today (Thursday, 8 July 2021). They were convicted of wounding with intent and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life. Jamal Johnson-White was also convicted of dangerous driving.
Janiah Johnson-White was the gunman in the passenger seat while his younger brother was the driver. After the shooting they sped away from the scene and crashed their stolen Astra into another car which had a family with a 10-year-old child inside. The impact of the crash meant the Astra’s airbags were activated.
The brothers fled from the crash abandoning the stolen car. However, they accidentally left behind a change of clothes in the vehicle.
Jamal Johnson-White was arrested along Brighton Road in Croydon on 7 November in a police stop. Janiah Johnson-White was arrested two days later on 9 November on the same road after he was spotted by police officers speeding through backstreets late at night during the national lockdown.
An iPhone recovered from Janiah Johnson-White on the night of his arrest was found to contain drill music lyrics in his notes dated one day after the shooting on 2 August 2020. The lyrics read: “I had 2 slap dat dots out da ride.”
Richard Partridge, from the CPS, said: “This was a random shooting that could have had devastating consequences for the victim. It is with sheer luck that this young man did not lose his vision.
“Janiah Johnson-White and Jamal Johnson-White were two brothers intent on violence. But they were caught out after their DNA was found on the airbags activated on the stolen car they crashed. The prosecution was also able to present further forensic evidence from the clothes they left behind in the car.
“During the trial these brothers claimed that they had been in another part of the country at the time of the shooting and that their clothes had been stolen from their home in a burglary - but the jury saw through these lies and convicted these men.
“Gun crime is a scourge on our communities and the CPS will always seek to work with the police to root out offenders and prosecute them where there is the evidence to do so.”
Sentencing will take place at Inner London Crown Court on 16 September 2021.
Notes to editors
- Richard Partridge is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Crown Court unit in CPS London South
- Janiah Johnson-White (DOB: 25/9/1995) is from Croydon
- Jamal Johnson-White (DOB: 10/11/1996) is from Croydon.