In a year that saw a flurry of stabbings, terror attacks and an overall surge in violent crime to levels not seen in more than ten years, the residents of London are on alert.
And yet, last night, another gruesome crime unfolded, as a father was murdered in cold blood in front of his wife and child on Christmas Eve.
Here's more from the Guardian:
A man shot dead on Christmas Eve was killed in front of his family as they returned home from a night out, police have said.
Metropolitan police detectives are continuing to appeal for information after the 36-year-old was fatally shot close to his home in Battersea, south-west London.
Police were called to reports of shots being fired in Battersea Church Road at about 9pm and found a man with gunshot wounds.
He was pronounced dead at the scene, Scotland Yard said.
A representative for the Metropolitan Police told the Guardian that the investigation is still in the very stages:
"Our investigation is in the very early stages and we are still working to establish what the motive could be that has led to a man losing his life in such a horrific way, on Christmas Eve, in front of his family."
Police said the assailant fled on foot after the attack, fleeing in the direction of Battersea Bridge Road.
"They have been devastated by this horrible event and are being supported by specialist officers."
"We know that the victim was returning home with his wife and young child following an evening out, when he was shot just yards from his home."
"The assailant then fled on foot in the direction of Battersea Bridge Road."
The murder is believed to be the 142nd killing in London this year - the highest number of homicides in one calendar year since 2008.
What does Mayor Sadiq Khan have to say about that?
Well, there was nothing on his twitter feed, aside from this link about the city's initiative to combat domestic violence.
In our mission to combat crime we’re also tackling its root causes, from poverty and school exclusions to domestic violence.— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) December 26, 2019
Here’s how our Violence Reduction Unit is taking action to improve life for all Londoners. https://t.co/dHhw66hlvx pic.twitter.com/hYLiQEFcnb
Several neighbors told police they heard "between eight and ten" gunshots, followed by the sounds of the victim's wife screaming for help.
Vittoria Amati, 60, said she heard "eight to 10" gunshots fired in quick succession.
She said: "I then heard the screams of the wife. I came out and realised it was one of my neighbours."
"He was lying in front of his doorway in a pool of blood. He was still alive. We were really hoping he would make it."
"You have no idea how desperate she [his wife] sounded."
Amati said a young woman who identified herself as a nurse helped the victim and applied pressure to his wounds.
A 24-year-old man, who also lives nearby and did not want to be named, said at one point there were about 10 people gathered outside trying to call 999.
Police said there was no evidence to suggest that the community is at risk. Though police also have no leads on the suspect, and the are urging anybody with any information about the attack to come forward.