Family Tributes To Polish Care Worker Gunned Down In London

The family of a young care worker who was killed after being caught in crossfire between two gunmen paid tribute to their daughter last night, describing her as the “flower of a rose and a ray of sun”.

Magda Pniewska, 26, a Polish national who had lived in Britain for four years, died after being hit in the head by a stray bullet. She had just finished a shift at a nursing home in south London.

Yesterday her family, speaking from their home in Poland, said: “Our darling daughter, the flower of a rose and a ray of sun, has been taken away from us. My darling sister whose joy and wisdom has been taken away from me … She was like a wind full of life. Today she is not among us any more, but her spirit still lives among us and our memories of her will never die.”

Police found Ms Pniewska lying at the bottom of steps suffering from a serious head injury. She was taken to King’s College hospital but died just over an hour later. Last night, flowers marked the spot where she died.

Ginette Coleman, a friend of one of Ms Pniewska’s elderly patients, said the young care worker had made a huge impression on patients and staff. “I was just absolutely sick when I heard the news,” she said. “I had only seen her a few days ago – she was laughing.”

Colleagues of Ms Pniewska from the Manley Court Nursing Centre in New Cross, south-east London described her as “truly lovely”.

Father John Francis, curate at All Saints’ church in New Cross Gate, which Ms Pniewska attended, said: “We are very shocked. She was known by a number of people in our congregation.”

Witnesses said the care worker was shot as she walked across the nursing centre car park. They reported seeing two men fire bullets at each other.

Officers from Trident, the Metropolitan police unit investigating gun crime in the black community, are looking at whether the shootout was linked to drug dealing. Two men and a woman arrested in connection with the shooting were released from custody yesterday. They face no further action. A third man has been released from custody on bail.