A murder investigation has been launched after the death of a Lambeth man last week, who had spent 13 years being unable to walk or talk from injuries sustained in a shooting.
Marvin Couson, from West Norwood, had been confined to a bed in the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability in Putney since he was shot in 2002 in Shoreditch at a club now known as the Queen of Hoxton.
He died on Saturday August 8 after spending a heart-rending 13 years unable to communicate with his family who visited him daily.
Marvin’s sisters Margaret and Deborah said: “It has been 13 years, two months, 27 days since Marvin was shot. He has been unable to walk or talk.
“Marvin’s suffering has now ended, but ours has only begun. We have visited him every single day and he was not alone when he passed away.
“We want people to look at the picture of Marvin suffering and realise that this is real. By staying silent and not helping police you have allowed the murderer to walk free.
“The person who pulled the trigger needs to be caught and we need justice for Marvin.”
“Marvin’s suffering has now ended, but ours has only begun.” – Marvin’s sisters
The post-mortem confirmed that Marvin, who would have turned 40 this bonfire night, died from a brain injury suffered as a direct result of the shooting.
Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, who leads the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “For 13 years Marvin’s family have been at his bedside and now tragically he has succumbed to the injuries he suffered all those years ago.
“We have launched a full murder investigation and despite the passage of time are committed to finding the person who shot Marvin that night.”
Marvin was discovered on the ground outside the Lime in London Bar on Curtain Road in Shoreditch by officers who responded to reports of gunfire in the early hours of Saturday May 12, 2002.
The then 26-year-old had been shot in the chest and suffered critical injuries to his heart and other internal organs.
He was taken to the Royal London Hospital in a critical condition and underwent surgery before being transferred to the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability in Putney.
Marvin had been at the bar – commonly known as the Lime Bar – with his cousin and a friend, they had fled along with a large number of other people after shots were fired inside the bar.
Outside Marvin’s friend saw a red or burgundy Ford Fiesta, thought to contain at least two black men, driving fast along Curtain Road. The vehicle struck him and he grappled with the front seat passenger.
A gun was then fired and the friend walked back towards the bar to see Marvin lying shot on the ground, he was left unable to communicate or understand what was happening around him.
DCI McHugh added: “It was 13 years ago but people would remember if they were there that night, particularly if they fled the venue in panic at the sound of shots fired
“We know there are potential witnesses who did not speak to police at the time and I would ask them to now please come forward with any information, no matter how small. Do not assume that someone else will contact police.
“His family have endured 13 horrendous years and now they no longer have Marvin and they do not have the answers they deserve.” – DCI McHugh
“A lot changes in 13 years and maybe you knew something at the time but were too nervous to speak to us. Marvin and his family have been robbed of all the things we take for granted, he was at the Lime Bar simply for a night out with friends and this should not have happened.
“His family have endured 13 horrendous years and now they no longer have Marvin and they do not have the answers they deserve.
“I would ask those reluctant to speak to police to look at the picture of Marvin lying in his hospital bed and think of his mum and dad when pondering ‘do I make that call?’
“Maybe you have heard talk over the years about Marvin’s shooting – if you can help please contact us.”
At the time of the shooting Trident officers made several appeals for witnesses from the 600-strong crowd inside the venue and from the 200-300 people who congregated in the street after shots were fired.
A man was arrested on May 23 2002 but was later released with no further action taken.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8785 8099 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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