The teenager, named locally as Tanesha Melbourne, was with friends in Chalgrove Road, Tottenham, north London, when she was murdered shortly before 9.30pm on Monday.
A 16-year-old boy is also fighting for his life in a separate shooting nearby in Walthamstow half an hour later. Another boy, aged 15, was taken to hospital with stab injuries amid concerns over the rising death toll in the capital this year.
A woman who knew the murdered girl said the victim was “just chilling with her friends” when she was shot from a car for “no reason at all”.
“The car just pulled up and just started shooting,” said the woman, who did not want to be named. She said she heard the gunshots “like fireworks” from her house.
She added: “Her friend came banging on my door so I came out quickly. I even tried to save her – had to, had to.”
She said the gunshot wound, below the victim’s breast, was not immediately visible and it looked like she was “having a fit”.
“I put her on her side and I was just rubbing her back, saying ‘everything’s going to be OK’. I just can’t believe it – so young. It’s ridiculous now.”
The woman said the victim was not responding, but added: “I could see she was looking at me.”
She told how the girl’s mother arrived before paramedics, adding: “She was screaming. She didn’t know what to do.”
It only became clear the 17-year-old had been shot when the paramedics took her bra off. “She didn’t deserve that. Her mum didn’t deserve to watch her die,” she said.
She described the victim as a “good girl”, adding: “She was so lovely.”
So far this year the Metropolitan Police has launched 47 murder inquiries – eight in January, 15 in February, 22 in March and two in April.
In the whole of last year there were 130 murders in London. The number of killings reached a peak around June before dropping again in the second half of the year.
A cab driver who ran towards danger to help the girl moments after she was shot said terrified residents of the Northumberland Park Estate were in the middle of a ‘war’.
The cab driver, 29, who refused to give his name, said: “It is a war here, this is not the first time there has been a shooting.
‘Her friends came in screaming and I said what is going on?
‘I ran over and she was trying to breathe, it was awful.’
In Tottenham, one witness, who works in a nearby shop, said he heard three bangs which sounded like fireworks.
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