* Photo by Simon Jones. Forensic officers examine Kumi Harford’s car on St. Monica’s Road.
* Photo by Simon Jones. Forensic officers examine Kumi Harford’s car on St. Monica’s Road.
1
2
A family friend of Kumi Harford frantically pulled his blood-soaked body from his car in the hope he could save his life.

The man dashed from his home after being woken by gunshots around 5am on Saturday.

Mr. Harford came under fire as he drove home alone after a night out with friends at Devonshire Rec. He was seconds from his house and had just called wife Rachel to say he was on his way.

Mr. Harford was found "covered in blood" and slumped over the steering wheel of his blue Mazda car in Footpath Lane, off St. Monica's Road.

"I ran down to the car and immediately saw it was Kumi," his pal told us. "But nothing could have prepared me; there was blood everywhere, he had gun wounds everywhere."

Within minutes of the shooting, a handful of neighbours rushed to the scene, including a distraught Mrs. Harford.

An ambulance was called, but members of the close-knit community couldn't bear the wait; instead they lifted the 30-year-old father-of-one from his car and carried him to another car parked in Glebe Road. Just as they got Mr. Harford to the car, paramedics arrived and took over.

By this time men, women and children - many still in their night clothes - were in the street crying and screaming that 'Kumi got shot.'

Mr. Harford was pronounced dead at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. He is the second person killed and the fourteenth person shot in the last six months.

The family friend, who in his 50s and watched Mr. Harford grow up, said loved ones "didn't want to accept" that he was dead: "I've seen people who have been shot before, but not like that. He was shot all up, on his face, head and chest. They got him so many times, there was still smoke coming out the wounds.

"His wife was right there, she was hysterical, she couldn't speak, she was just screaming."

Sources tell us the fatal shooting was carried out by at least two gunmen who were lying in wait. One man was said to be in the middle of St. Monica's Road, another hiding behind a wall.

Some 15 shots were fired and nine of them are said to have hit Mr. Harford.

The first shots were fired as Mr. Harford drove east along St. Monica's Road, passing St. Monica's Church. He crashed into the church wall and bullet shells were found in the church's front yard.

The gunfire continued as Mr. Harford turned left into Footpath Lane. He then crashed into another wall and the car slid down the hill sideways, having lost one of its front wheels. The car was extensively damaged, front and back.

The shooting comes after Mr. Harford's younger brother Jakai was shot in the shoulder in the Camp Hill area of Southampton on Boxing Day, 2008. Mr. Harford's good friend Kenwandee 'Wheels' Robinson was gunned down in a drive-by shooting on the afternoon of Friday, May 22.

The shooting of Mr. Harford took place right outside the house of Mr. Robinson's mom, Karon. The words 'Wheels 4eva' are scrawled on a wall opposite.

The family friend we spoke to believes the gunmen fled on foot as he didn't hear or see any bikes or cars leaving the scene: "This shooting was so precise, they knew what they were doing. They were lying in wait. This was a cold, senseless murder. It's sickening, everyone is so shocked 'round here."

Crowds gathered at the scene on Monday afternoon to watch a police reconstruction of Mr. Harford's murder. Some neighbours stood in their yards looking over their walls, while others sat on chairs on the sidewalk.

At one point, Mr. Harford's mom Valita walked past wearing a pink tracksuit; she was clearly devastated and struggled to hold back tears.

Devonshire Cougars footballer Shaki Minors, 26, who was shot and injured outside Southside Cinema last month, was greeted by hugs as he briefly stopped at the scene.

Forensic officers from the U.S. were brought in and took several hours to comb the area for clues. They collected fingerprints from the bullet-damaged car and nearby church wall.

The police mobile command centre sat outside St. Monica's Church as about six uniformed officers and six detectives manned the cordoned-off area.

Each bullet that hit Mr. Harford's Mazda 323F car was marked with a numbered sticker. The driver's side back window was smashed. Seven of the bullet holes were marked with red sticks. This included two holes through the passenger wing mirror, three holes in the bonnet, one through the windscreen and another on the rear of the driver's side. The car was eventually towed to the police compound.

A 53-year-old woman from St. Monica's Road said she was awoken by "gunshot after gunshot" and had to "try to calm down her family."

She told us: "You hear gunshots and you fear the worst, it's like 'here we go again.'

"We were too scared to go outside, we didn't even look out the window. There were blue lights everywhere and I heard screaming. I knew there was something serious going on."

The woman added: "Everyone has been crying since it happened, everyone has just been in tears. We can't believe this has happened on our doorstep, things are getting worse."