Three men involved in a gangland shooting in broad daylight with pedestrians and motorists nearby are facing almost 33 years in prison.
Lewis Gatehouse, Kendall Bizimana and Samuel Martin took aim at a rival gang member amidst a spate of gang violence in Luton last year.
Shots were fired at a vehicle in Wauluds Bank Drive in the Marsh Farm area just before 5pm on 19 April 2022, with other vehicles and pedestrians nearby.
The vehicle targeted in the attack crashed into a vehicle in front, which was being driven by a man with his family in the back.
No one suffered any serious injuries.
The trio, who were on pushbikes and wearing black hoodies and face coverings, fled the scene.
Not long after the incident occurred, police received a call from someone reporting that a man had approached him asking him to call a taxi.
When they refused, the man threw an object away which turned out to be a 9mm bullet casing.
A black pushbike was also recovered, and CCTV footage showed a man riding it before dumping it in a driveway close to where the bullet casing was found.
The suspect in the footage matched the description of the man who had asked for a taxi and was identified as Kendall Bizimana.
Further enquiries were carried out with several taxi companies within the Luton area.
Results showed that a call was made to one company requesting a pick-up just after the incident had occurred and from the same location.
The booking was in the name of Lewis and the phone number was found to be linked to Lewis Gatehouse.
Further CCTV checks in the area captured the third suspect, who was identified as Samuel Martin, wearing very distinctive clothing. He was also seen with Bizimana after the suspects were dropped off in a taxi.
Just over a week later, officers from Bedfordshire Police’s Boson guns and gangs team carried out early morning search warrants and Gatehouse and Martin were both arrested.
Bizimana handed himself into a police station shortly after and all three were initially charged with attempted murder.
The incident followed a spate of violence between the rival OBK and Marsh Farm gang members.
Gatehouse, 20, of Luton, and Bizimana, 18, of Dunstable, pleaded guilty to attempted grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Gatehouse also pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited weapon and Class A and Class B drug offences in relation to a separate matter.
He received a total jail term of 17 years eight months - 12 years eight months for possession of a firearm with intent in relation to the Marsh Farm incident, and an additional five years for possession of a prohibited weapon in relation to the other matter.
An eight year sentence for the GBH offence will be served at the same time.
Bizimana was handed a sentence of 11 years one month for the firearms offence. A six-and-a-half year sentence for GBH will be served at the same time.
Martin, 18, also of Luton, pleaded guilty to attempted grievous bodily harm with intent and threatening someone with a bladed weapon.
He was given a four year sentence for GBH and an 18 month sentence for the weapons offence, which will be served at the same time.
Gun crime in Bedfordshire was down by around 40 per cent last year compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Since 2018 Boson has taken 47 firearms off the streets of the county, as well as making 833 arrests and seizing around 25 kilos of Class and B drugs and £411,000 in criminal cash.
Detective Sergeant Wil Taylor, from Bedfordshire Police’s Boson team, said: “The actions of these three young men were dangerous, reckless and stupid beyond belief. It is only by sheer luck that no innocent party was injured as a result of their appalling criminal behaviour.
“Gang and gun culture may entice some young men into a perverse view that this is some sort of glamorous lifestyle.
“However, let me spell it out in simple terms. If you arm yourself with a gun, the chances are that you will end up spending a long time behind bars – or getting seriously hurt yourself. It really isn’t worth the risk.
“Boson is hunting down gang members willing to engage in such mindless violence. But we are also working tirelessly alongside other organisations across the county to provide better alternatives and a brighter future for young people at risk who want to turn their life around.
“If you want to seek help, or have concerns about someone you know, please reach out and we’ll do everything in our power to support you.”