Man jailed for shooting at two strangers in Mitcham
A man who fired a gun at two pedestrians in a road rage incident in Mitcham has been brought to justice by Specialist Crime detectives.
William Solhotra, 35 (24.04.88) of London Road, SW16, was identified by officers through a combination of CCTV, ANPR and phone work. He was apprehended in his car with the loaded firearm, which had been concealed in the very same Emporio Armani strap bag he was captured wearing only minutes before the incident.
He was jailed for 13 years and six months at Kingston Crown Court today, Friday, 19 May, having been convicted at an earlier hearing of two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, and possession of ammunition. He had pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A, B and C drugs.
Detective Constable David Leend, investigator, said: "This scene unfolded in broad daylight on a summer’s day in front of scores of onlookers and motorists. Solhotra got into a dispute with the two men in a suspected road rage incident.
“He was in possession of a lethal weapon and thought nothing of firing at the two men, with absolutely no regard for them, or the other people who were going about their business.
“Despite extensive searches, including multiple hospital checks, those two men have never been identified. It is sheer luck that no one was injured, or worse; this could easily have been a very different investigation.”
Footage retrieved by officers in their investigation captured the incident, which happened at about 14:50hrs on Saturday, 2 July 2022 on Mitcham Lane, SW16.
Solhotra, in a silver BMW, got into an argument with two men who had just crossed the street, before he fired a shot at them. All three parties then left the scene prior to police arrival.
Responding officers scoured the scene and recovered a shell casing.
There were no reported injuries following the incident.
Specialist firearms officers stopped Solhotra as he was driving his car from the Crawley area back to London on 6 July. Officers searched the vehicle and found the firearm inside his strap bag, while his phone work which was seized would place him at the scene.
He was arrested and taken into custody before being charged as above.
DC Leend added: “I’m pleased that the sentence received today reflects the gravity of Solhotra’s offence. Anyone else who is concerned in the use of illegal firearms can be assured that they too could find themselves behind bars.”