Detectives believe the man shot dead in the Harlesden street shooting was not the intended target.

They are appealing for further witnesses to the “senseless murder” on Church Road, at the junction of Conley Road, just before 10pm on March 9.

Police, who are also investigating whether the shooting was gang related, have stepped up patrols in the area amid concern tensions could be running high, and have called for calm.

RECAP: Live updates from the scene of the fatal shooting as police investigation began

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DCI Mark Lawson, said: “At this very early stage in the investigation, we are exploring that the shooting was gang related, however I am satisfied that the victim was not the intended target and this was a tragic case of mistaken identity.

“Early indications are that shots were fired from an automatic weapon, although a firearm has not been recovered so we cannot speculate on the exact type.”

He said the victim, a man in his late 20s, was shot by a male who got out of a dark coloured vehicle. After the shooting, the vehicle then travelled south along Church Street towards Harlesden Town Centre.

He added: “We are aware of information about the murder which is circulating via social media, and I would appeal to anyone who has information which could assist the investigation to call the incident room.”

Superintendent Nigel Quantrell is acting Borough Commander of police in Brent Borough . He said: “I am alive to the impact an incident like this has on the community and that tensions may be high and people could be feeling concerned. I would ask for calm so that officers can do their job and bring the person(s) responsible to justice as soon as possible.

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“With this in mind, we have increased patrols in the area and there will be a more visible uniformed presence. Officers will be speaking to members of the community to reassure them that Brent still remains a safe borough to live in and visit.”

Armed police had rushed to the scene after reports of a shooting were made to emergency services at 9.58pm. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

His next of kin have been informed, but formal identification is yet to take place. A post mortem examination will take place at Northwick Hospital on March 11.

The investigation is being led by detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information is asked to contact police on 0208 358 0200 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.