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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Adam Everett

Rio Jones' shooting victim named as he's also convicted over gun crimes

A man who was shot in the street by a member of a rival gang has been convicted of firearms offences.

Shakur Watson survived an attempt on his life by Rio Jones, having been hit in the wrist by one of six gunshots fired at him by the teenager. The ECHO has been unable to name the target of the shooting until now due to a court order protecting his identity, pending the conclusion of his trial for possession of a firearm and ammunition.

But the 20-year-old can now be named after a jury at Liverpool Crown Court found him guilty of both counts on Thursday. It came in the same week that Jones was convicted of attempting to murder him.

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Watson, of Snowdon Lane in Vauxhall, had previously pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine. He will be sentenced at a later date.

The firearms offences relate to a raid on Princes Road in Toxteth shortly after 10am May 2 last year. A handgun and ammunition were found in the garden of the property by Merseyside Police.

Meanwhile, the drugs matters relate to a search warrant which was executed on Snowdon Lane at dawn on April 4 this year as part of a crackdown on county lines rings. Watson pleaded guilty to these counts the following month.

Jones' trial heard that the 19-year-old chased him through the streets - with both riding electric bikes - shortly after 5pm on March 1 this year when he fired six shots at him "at extremely close proximity". Dashcam footage captured the moment he "stretched his right arm out" and fired six times "directly at" his "enemy" - who has previously been referred to as Male A.

Watson was seen ducking in order to avoid being hit by the shots, but but was struck in the right forearm. He continued riding for a short distance before knocking on the door of a stranger's house.

The occupant then drove him to the Royal Liverpool Hospital. Watson subsequently underwent surgery after the bullet fractured a bone in his wrist.

Meanwhile, another of Jones' shots passed through the plastic sheeting of a bus stop and hit a 15-year-old girl who was sat on the other side in the neck. She had been waiting for a bus home from school with her 14-year-old friend at the time.

The bullet passed through her body before exiting via the chest. The schoolgirl suffered lung damage and three fractured vertebrae as a result, spending 10 days in Alder Hey Children's Hospital before being discharged.

Jones claimed during the trial that he had been previously been subjected to a spate of attacks over several years as a result of a falling out in his circle of friends - which followed the murder of one unnamed member in 2017. The group separated into two factions, with him on one side and Watson on the other.

He blamed his rivals for the "terrifying" incidents - which saw him stabbed, shot at, chased by armed men and run over while walking his dog. The windows of his mum's car were smashed, his dad's work van was torched and his house was targeted in an arson attack - while shots were also fired at the family home on Jermyn Street on one occasion in November 2019.

Jones stated that he had been chased on the morning of his shooting and decided to retaliate by finding and pursuing a person from the other gang in order to warn his assailants off. The gunman maintained that he had not intended to fire the gun and instead "panicked" when he brandished the weapon.

He was unanimously convicted of attempted murder by a jury on Friday after two hours and 43 minutes of deliberations. Jones was also found guilty of one count of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, having earlier admitted possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, and will be sentenced in December.

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