Shot teen 'not involved with gangs'

Banbury Cake: A police officer watches as a group of people gather at the scene in Hackney where Shereka Fab-Ann Marsh, 15, died after a shooting A police officer watches as a group of people gather at the scene in Hackney where Shereka Fab-Ann Marsh, 15, died after a shooting

A 15-year-old girl who was tragically shot dead was a "lovely typical, bubbly outgoing teenager" who was not involved with gangs or violence, her family said.

Shereka Fab-Ann Marsh died after being shot once in the neck at a house in Eastway, Hackney, east London on Saturday afternoon.

A 15-year-old boy was remanded in custody when he appeared at Stratford Youth Court this morning charged with her murder.

In a tribute issued through their local MP Meg Hillier, the schoolgirl's family said: "Shereka Marsh was a lovely typical, bubbly outgoing teenager with lots of friends.

"She was not involved in gangs or violence. She did not drink or take drugs. Her mother always knew where she was.

"Shereka was a responsible, hard working young woman with so much to look forward to."

They added that any reports suggesting otherwise were "particularly hurtful to the family at this very painful time" as they requested privacy "to come to terms with their loss".

School friends of Shereka said prayers for her and her family at an assembly today.

She was remembered by staff and the 800 students at the Urswick School in Hackney this morning, headmaster Richard Brown said.

Mr Brown said children and staff at the Church of England school were mourning the loss of a "shining star" destined for good grades in her GCSEs.

He said: "We held an assembly at the start of the day and we have said prayers for Shereka, and her family as well.

"We also have a chapel and children have been visiting that throughout the day."

Mr Brown said Shereka had applied recently to study at the school's sixth form after her GCSEs and that her favourite subject was history.

He said: "She was a shining star of the school, she was well-liked by students and staff. She was a real good all-rounder, good at sports but also her academic subjects as well."

He added that staff were supporting pupils and trying to keep school as normal as possible as they come to terms with what happened.

He added: "We are quite a tight-knit community so the youngsters are getting a lot of support from adults they trust - the teachers in the school."

The terraced house where the shooting happened is a short distance from the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park.

The court heard this morning that paramedics and police went to the house after a 999 call just before 4pm on Saturday.

Shereka was pronounced dead at the scene. A post-mortem examination found that she died from a single gunshot wound to the neck.

Detectives later recovered a gun from the house. Mourners visited the scene throughout yesterday to lay flowers and leave messages of condolence.

The 15-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, wore a grey fleece and tracksuit bottoms and spoke only to confirm his personal details during the short hearing today.

He will appear next at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Wednesday. Two 16-year-olds who were also arrested in connection with the shooting have been released without charge, police said.

Jules Pipe, the mayor of Hackney, said Shereka's "devastating" death had sent shockwaves through the community in Hackney.

"This has highlighted once again the danger that firearms pose to society. Put simply, guns ruin lives," he said.

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