The mysterious murder of a 27-year-old man from south London has baffled Metropolitan Police detectives, after being shot six times while sitting in his car.
Police found nothing in the background of pet store owner Andre Aylward to suggest a motive behind the brutal murder, and more than 20 years later, a number of questions have remained unanswered.
In the early hours of May 12, 2001, Andre was returning home to Streatham. He had visited a friend’s house and was returning along Valleyfield Road at 2:10 a.m. when he was shot several times.
Passionate about cars, he was driving his black BMW 5 series with tinted windows at the time of the attack.
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CCTV had earlier shown him pulling over next to a silver BMW at a traffic light shortly before he was killed.
He was hit twice in the head and neck, causing him to lose control of the vehicle and crash. Andre was rushed to King’s College Hospital but tragically died at 4 a.m.
He was killed a few meters from the family home.
A murder investigation was launched by Met Police but struggled to find any conclusive leads as to why Andre was targeted.
There was no evidence to suggest that Andre, who was the manager of Oliver’s Pet Supplies in Streatham Vale, was involved in gang activity or had any suspicious relationships that could have led to his death.
One avenue of investigation that was pursued was that he had been the victim of extreme road rage or a case of mistaken identity.
At the time, Scotland Yard said it was keeping an open mind regarding road rage theories, but an officer acknowledged that the silver BMW incident was significant to the case.
He said the catalyst for the murder was probably “centered on the short time leading up to his death as opposed to historical events”.
Officers believed the silver BMW may have refueled at a nearby BP gas station atop Knights Hill, minutes before the shooting.
Despite numerous public calls for information, no other lead has emerged.
In 2006, the case was re-investigated after police received an anonymous phone call from someone saying they saw André’s black BMW swerve in front of a colored car. Claire.
In 2006, South London Press reporter Richard Porritt also revealed that the same handgun used in the murder of Andre was used in another murder within 24 hours of each other.
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Although this breakthrough led to the opening of new avenues of investigation, the case ultimately closed for lack of evidence.
At the time, Chief Detective Inspector Ken Pandolfi said: “Andre’s ruthless murder left his family completely devastated and puzzled as to why anyone would want to kill him.”
His murder remains unclear and his killer has never been brought to justice.