Strood father Xhem Krasniqi 'murdered by Edmund Nela after street shooting in Hove sparked row between families', trial hears
A Strood father-of-two shot in the street was murdered in a "cold, callous and deliberate attack", a court heard.
Scaffolder Xhem Krasniqi, known as Jim, died after a shooting sparked by "bad blood" between two families, jurors were told.
The 32-year-old Albanian national, who also worked as a doorman at the Casino Rooms in Rochester, died after being shot in Hove, East Sussex, on May 18 last year.
Xhem Krasniqi, from Strood, died after being shot in the street
Hove Crown Court was told a row between the family of Mr Krasniqi and 31-year-old Edmund Nela – who is accused of his murder – led to the attack, witnessed by "many people".
Mr Krasniqi was with his brother Ismail Zeneli and their nephew Kelmed Murataj when they saw Nela walking down the street at about 11pm, said prosecutor Philip Bennetts QC.
He said the three men got out of the car and Nela, who is a black belt in karate, turned and shot at them.
Mr Bennetts said Mr Murataj described in a police statement how Nela "aimed the gun" at the three men before saying: "I'm going to kill you all."
Nela fired at least three shots from a 9mm self-loading pistol, he told jurors.
Edmund Nela is accused of murdering Strood father Xhem Krasniqi
He said one penetrated Mr Krasniqi's right flank and he died shortly after 1am the next day in the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton.
Another shot "ricocheted" off the ground, striking the wallet in Mr Murataj's pocket and shattering his bank cards.
Mr Bennetts said witnesses including Mark Gifford heard shots and saw a man holding a gun.
Referring to Mr Gifford's evidence, Mr Bennetts said: "On the opposite side of the road [to the gunman] were three men.
"One was crouching behind a large black public bin taking cover from the shots."
Mr Bennetts said Mr Gifford described the gunman as standing "in one stance only shooting directly at these people".
He added: "The shooter was standing still, taking aim. He wasn't under any pressure from anyone as he was firing the gun.
"He seemed very centralised, not moving about much at all when I saw him."
Police at the spot where Xhem Krasniqi was shot in Hove. Picture: The Argus
Mr Bennetts said Mr Gifford added: "I don't think at that stage that the shooter was in any immediate danger from anyone."
Mr Gifford's partner, Annabel Barrow described hearing four shots and seeing a body on the floor.
Mr Bennetts said witness Michael Belhawla recalled seeing a man "moving around acting as if he had a gun and the two other guys moving around acting as if they were dodging the bullets".
Keith Meads, who was with his partner Patricia Goddard and her daughter Liz, saw a man with a "small machine gun", Mr Bennetts said.
Mr Bennetts, recounting Mr Meads' statement, said the gunman "stood square and was aiming and in a stance".
He added: "He had both hands on it [the gun]. He was holding it in his right hand and his left hand was steadying himself.
"I saw two shots. There was a bang, bang and two flashes."
Mr Bennetts said Nela then walked off. He was later extradited from Italy on July 9.
Police talk to neighbours in the street where Xhem Krasniqi was shot dead in Hove. Picture: Terry Applin/The Argus
In his defence statement, Nela said he had been picking up his wife, Victoria Gale, from work when he saw a car being driven by Mr Murataj brake heavily.
He claimed a man armed with a gun got out of the car.
Mr Bennetts said Nela feared being "immediately killed, seriously injured or kidnapped" and wrestled the gun off the man in the car, causing it to fire twice.
Mr Bennetts said: "He does not know if either of those shots were the fatal shot. He did not intend any of the shots to hit any of the men."
Nela, of no fixed address, is in custody and the trial continues.
He denies murdering Mr Krasniqi, two counts of attempted murder of Mr Zeneli and Mr Murataj, possession of a 9mm self-loading pistol and possession of a firearm to cause fear of violence.
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