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Calm gunman was out to kill, court told

Sessions House is hosting the Supreme Court hearing (File photograph)

A security guard has recounted to jurors seeing a gunman fire four shots at a man outside Southampton Rangers Sports Club at point-blank range.

Shannon Rayner told a Supreme Court jury that the shooter, dressed in all black and a crash helmet, came up behind Rickai Swan and opened fire after Mr Swan had tripped and fell while trying to escape.

Mr Rayner described the gunman’s demeanour as “calm” during the shooting, and later told police: ‘He was out to kill this guy. He went pop, pop, pop, pop and jogged away like he was running down Front Street.”

Mr Swan was shot dead outside the sports club on October 23 last year, while his friend, Damiko Gibbons, was shot in the shoulder when the gunman opened fire at just before 10.40pm.

Prosecutors allege that Shantoine Prinston Burrows murdered Mr Swan, who was known to his friend as “Black”, and injured Mr Gibbons.

Yesterday, Mr Gibbons wiped tears from his eyes as he told the court how he came across his friend of 15 years lying near the entrance to the club after he had been shot.

“We were talking, then out of nowhere I heard a loud blast. It sounded like a gunshot and came from the field side,” he said.

“The blast went off and there was a bright flash of light which basically blinded me.

“I fell off the stairs on to my back and I was just kicking out because I could not see anything. While I was on the ground I heard two or three more shots.

“I got up and just ran towards South Shore. I ran to the bus stop close to Gulf Stream and as I got there I heard these girls screaming, so I came back to where I was and Rickai was just lying there. He was breathing.”

Mr Gibbons told jurors that he realised he had been shot too as he patted himself down. He attended hospital where doctors stitched the wound to his shoulder and later discharged him.

Meanwhile, Mr Rayner, a Southampton Rangers cricketer, told the court he was about to leave the club when he heard “two loud bangs”.

“At first it sounded like firecrackers then I saw everyone running, so it occurred to me it was gunfire,” Mr Rayner said. “I took off and ran out of the club into the car park. I got 10 metres when I just turned around and I saw Mr Swan.

“He was running towards South Shore. As he was running it looked like he tripped, it looked like he tripped on his trousers because he was trying to pull them up. As he was falling, I saw another men dressed in all black. He came up behind him and shot him four times at point-blank, basically.

“Black tried to keep running to South Shore while the shooter went back towards the porch area.”

Mr Rayner told jurors that he went back to the club and came across Mr Swan’s body near the entrance.

“I ran down to him and tried to pick him up,” he said. “But I was still shook up. He was facing down and I noticed he was bleeding heavily. The back of his shirt was full of blood. When these guys picked him up it looked like he had a hole in his chest.”

Under cross-examination from Mr Burrows’s lawyer, Marc Daniels, Mr Rayner confirmed that he had told police the shooter was between 5ft 8in and 5ft 9in tall and of slim build.

Gerri Saltus, former president of Southampton Rangers Sports Club, told the court that he had known Mr Swan since he was a child and the pair had grown up together in the same neighbourhood. He said he was in the bar area of the club when he heard what sounded like “firecrackers” coming from the south side of the building.

“My first reaction was to flinch. Everyone was in a moment of panic because nobody knew what was going on,” Mr Saltus said. He told the court that when he came out of the club, he heard someone say “Black’s been hit”.

“People were trying to help Rickai as he lay on the ground. One man had taken his own shirt off and was trying to apply pressure to a wound in his neck,” Mr Saltus added.

Mr Burrows, 24, denies murdering Mr Swan, using a firearm to commit murder, wounding Mr Gibbons with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm and using a firearm to commit that offence.

A second defendant, Taj Browne, 22, represented by lawyer Charles Richardson, denies being an accessory after the fact to murder. He is alleged to have given Mr Burrows a lift after the shooting.

The trial continues.

• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.