In today's edition of the Glasgow Crime Stories, we focus on the brutal murder of Euan Johnston as he sat waiting at traffic lights in Glasgow’s Kinning Park.  


It was a chilly November night, and two friends were driving home after a meal in the Southside of Glasgow. 

The driver of the Audi RS4 Euan Johnston, 26, was on the phone to partner Danielle Carruthers to let her know he was on his way as his car sat parked at the lights. 

Johnston was waiting for the lights to change to green when an Audi Q5 drew up alongside his car at the junction of Shields Road and Scotland Street in Kinning Park. 

A man stepped out and opened fire with three shots before jumping back in the vehicle which then sped off. 

As he was blasted, Johnston's foot hit the accelerator and his car lurched forward into a barrier, crumpling the front end. 

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Two bullets hit him in the head. One went through his brain causing a fatal injury.  A third bullet hit the rubber seal round the driver's door.  

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The driver's window of his mangled Audi RS4 was also blown out and shattered glass littered the footwell.  

The front seat passenger, Brian McMahon, 31, phoned the emergency service to say that his pal had been shot. 

Johnston would die a few hours later at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow after his life support machine was switched off, with the permission of his family. 

Meanwhile the blue Q5 had escaped onto the M8 over Kingston Bridge towards the northwest side of the city 

It had been a well-planned execution, professionally carried out. 

CCTV showed Euan Johnston - whose nickname was EJ - being tailed for up to an hour, before the shooting by the person in the Audi getaway car.  

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In some of the footage, the occupants could be seen repeatedly driving past the Red Pepper kebab house in St Andrews Road, Pollokshields, where Johnston and pal Brian had been eating. 

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The Audi Q5 was also seen tailing Johnston's motor when he emerged with Brian from the late-night restaurant. 

As they made their getaway on November 15, 2016, the culprits may have been congratulating themselves on a job well done. 

However, they had not accounted for the fact that an off duty cop had been passing at the time of the shooting. 

He had been concerned by the erratic driving of the getaway Audi - not realising that a murder had just been committed - and noted the registration number and immediately reported it to colleagues. 

The PC, however, couldn't see the occupants of the car as the windows were tinted and it was travelling at speed.  

Once across the Kingston Bridge the Audi headed up Springburn Road past McDonalds, where their getaway was caught on a speed camera. 

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It then turned off into a residential street, Leehill Road in Colston before speeding off again. 

Detectives suspected that the murder weapon and a mobile phone may have been dropped off at a house there. 

Officers later spent almost a week interviewing neighbours and searching gardens often at night under arc lights. 

Detectives quickly established a timeline for the murder and a possible suspect, David Scott, a 33-year-old with a history of carrying weapons and violence. 

However, there was no sign of the gun or the phone. 

The car used by the gunman and accomplices was later found burnt out in Balmore Road, Milton about two miles away. 

A detailed forensic examination revealed two vital pieces of evidence - a hooded top which had Scott's DNA and a bullet casing that matched one found at the murder scene. 

CCTV images showed one of the gun gang, Scott, wearing the same the Nike top and the zip being pulled up. 

Glasgow Times: Scott tails Mr Johnston (Crown Office)Scott tails Mr Johnston (Crown Office)

Scott would later be arrested and charged with murder along with another man. 

Johnston's funeral took place at St Columba Church in Glasgow's Maryhill in March 2017, around four months after his murder 

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A horse and carriage delivered the coffin to the chapel. 

Floral tributes included messages from his two young children. 

One read: "To the best daddy in the world. I love you so much. I hope you are looking over me." 

Officers escorted the family cortege from their home while colleagues kept watch at the service, burial and funeral reception. 

A police helicopter also patrolled the skies amid fears of further violence following the execution. 

The victim's father Euan Snr, 44, was let out of jail for the day to join Johnston's mother Anne McChord for their son's send-off. 

Johnston Snr was serving a six-year sentence imposed in 2014 after he was caught with heroin worth more than £2million in a car park 

He was on a home visit from open prison Castle Huntly near Dundee when his son was shot. 

David Scott stood trial at the High Court in Glasgow in April, 2018 almost 18 months after the murder. 

In her evidence, Danielle Carruthers, who had a child with Johnston, said she had phoned him to see what time he would be home, the same time the shooting took place. 

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Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

She told the court: "He said he was on the way to drop his friend Brian McMahon off and would be home soon. 

"Immediately after he said that, there was a revving of the car and a loud bang. 

"I was shouting, 'Euan, are you all right?'  

"I didn't know what had happened. It wasn't until I heard Brian screaming 'Euan, Euan, Euan' over and over again I knew something was wrong." 

The court was told that when Danielle got to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Johnston was on a life support machine where the decision was made to switch it off. 

In her evidence Euan's mother told how she reacted when told that he had been shot. 

Initially Anne McChord wasn't going to answer the late-night call from Brian McMahon which gave her the tragic news. 

But after learning what happened, the 47-year-old raced to the hospital in a taxi. 

Anne said she last spoke to her son on the day he was shot. 

She remembered him giving her money to get glasses at the optician's. 

When Anne got to hospital, Euan's girlfriend and his father were already there.  

Anne said: "They just told me that my son was dead.  

"I could feel his heart beating, but the surgeon said it would be cruel to keep him alive." 

Brian McMahon, a former member of the Scots Guards, told the jury how he saw blood on his friend and a hole in his head. 

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The first moment, he realised something was wrong was when the driver's side window shattered. 

Brian added: "The window smashed in. We shot forward and crashed into traffic lights and a barrier." 

The prosecutor Alex Prentice asked: "What did you see when the car came to rest?" Brian, who served in the Scots Guards, replied: "Blood on Euan." 

The witness said he got out and opened the driver's door, adding: "I tried to see what was wrong. "At the side of Euan's head there was a hole." 

The court heard Brian thought his pal had been shot though he hadn't heard any sound of gunshots. 

Prentice asked the witness: "Is that the conclusion you came to?" He replied: "Yes." 

The prosecutor then said: "Even though you said you didn't hear gunfire?" He replied: "No, I didn't." 

Another witness cabbie Rustam Saddiq was driving his taxi when the Audi Q5 overtook him on St Andrews Drive, Glasgow, at up to 50mph. 

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As he approached the junction of Shields Road and Scotland Street, he saw the Q5 stop at the lights alongside the Audi RS4. 

Rustam told the High Court in Glasgow: "As I slowed behind the Audi Q5, I heard two shots and then it sped off into Scotland Street. 

"At the time, I said to my friend Umar Mohammed, who was in the car with me, it sounded like gunshots, but I wasn't sure." 

He said he then saw the RS4 crash into barriers at the side of the road. 

Saddiq described seeing someone get out of the passenger door of Euan's RS4 to help him. 

He said he called the police when he and his friend went over to help. 

Paramedic David O'Hara told the jury that he found Euan slumped over the steering wheel. 

He said: "He had suffered a catastrophic head injury."  

Throughout the trial, it wasn't clear what the motive was for the murder. 

At the time of the shooting Euan Johnston was awaiting trial on charges of dealing heroin worth £640,000.  

It was the latest in a spate of shooting incidents in the city said to be linked to a feud between two rival crime factions. 

The then Chief Constable, Phil Gormley, had publicly aired his concern at the attacks which he said had involved people linked to organised crime. 

He vowed to put all available resources into bringing those responsible to justice. 

Though he was suspected of being involved in organised crime it was also said that the victim was well liked and did not have any obvious enemies. 

In May 2018, Scott was found guilty of murdering Johnston, while acting with others unknown, by repeatedly discharging a firearm at him. 

He was sentenced to life imprisonment and told he must serve at least 22 years before he could be considered for parole 

He showed little emotion as he was led away to begin his sentence, apart from a thumbs up to people in the court 

A second man Anthony Ruthven, 33, had been cleared of murdering Johnston earlier in the trial after prosecutors dropped the charges. 

At the time Police Scotland said they were determined to find others who were involved in the killing, particularly the getaway driver. 

Detective Superintendent Jim Kerr added: "This was a pre-planned, cold-blooded murder of a young man in the middle of a busy area. 

"And despite being targeted, it was an act which was cowardly and without regard for any innocent bystanders who may have been in the vicinity. 

"Our extensive investigation revealed to us that there was more than just one person at the scene of the shooting. 

"We would ask anyone who has information that may be useful to contact police."  

After the trial Johnston's mum thanked the police adding "This is justice for Euan. It's closure but my life will never be the same again." 

Following his conviction in 2018 Scott launched a series of appeals against the jury's verdict. 

Last year his lawyers argued that the trial judge, Lady Stacey, erred in rejecting a "no case to answer" submission at his trial. 

They also claimed that he suffered defective legal representation at the time in relation to some of the evidence. 

But the Lord Justice Clerk, Lady Dorrian, sitting with Lord Pentland and Lord Matthews, rejected the appeal. 

Lord Matthews, who gave the court's decision, said: "The DNA evidence provides a very powerful basis for the conviction." 

The murder of Euan Johnston stands out as one of the most brutal in recent years with Scott showing a callous disregard for his victim. 

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Lady Stacey appeared to agree, telling him: "You coldly and deliberately cut a man's life short, leaving a grieving family. 

"You carried this out in a public street and showed no regard to not only your victim but also to members of the public. 

"The attack was a premeditated murderous assault which involved a lethal weapon. It has correctly been called an execution."  

Questions were also asked as to how Scott and his accomplices knew where Johnston would be that Tuesday night. 

Police believe the victim may have been under surveillance for weeks before he was executed at point-blank range with his killers using the latest technology to place him using the signal from his mobile phone. 

At the time one underworld source said: "The gang behind the hit always knew where EJ was because of his mobile. They could 'ping' its signal. 

"He was driving around with a beacon in his pocket effectively saying, 'Here I am — come and get me'. All they had to do was wait for the right moment. 

"The people behind this were super organised." 

Last year Scott, now 36, had another eight years added on to his life term after admitting attacking two other prisoners and a prison officer. 

He pounced on Paul Lyons, 39, in the busy visiting room at HMP Perth on December 27, 2019  

Lyons, who was serving a prison term for a road rage killing, was slashed on the neck in front of shocked children. 

Scott had carried out a previous attack on robber Dale Thomas in a cell in HMP Edinburgh, leaving him grotesquely disfigured. 

At the High Court in Glasgow Scott admitted assaulting the pair to their injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of their lives. 

The court heard how heard Lyons was attacked as relatives and friends visited him. 

Prosecutor Jane Farquharson QC said: "Scott stood up and started running towards his table. 

"He can be seen on camera to remove something from the waistband of his trousers." 

Scott later admitted he had brought a weapon from his previous jail. 

A razor blade attached to melted plastic was discovered lying in the visiting room. 

Earlier, on December 10, 2019, Scott pounced on Thomas in HMP Edinburgh. 

Thomas was stabbed with a knife and a hot water and sugar solution thrown on him. His right ear was cut off." 

Thomas was discovered by prison staff lying in a pool of blood. Scott had stated to one of them: "You are going to need some medical expertise in there." 

Scott's Nike trainers were covered in Thomas's blood. 

He also pled guilty at the same hearing to assaulting a prison officer to his severe injury in HMP Perth on May 4, 2020. 

The incident was again captured on CCTV. The guard was punched before stumbling and badly hurting his hand. 

He was off work for a number of weeks as a result. 

The court also heard Scott continues to deny murdering Euan Johnston. 

Trial judge Lady Haldane told him said the jail term would have been 12 years, but for the guilty pleas. 

To this day no one knows who drove the getaway car used in the murder of Euan Johnston and no one else has stood trial. 

It's also not known who ordered the shooting and what David Scott's motive was for taking part. 

The sentence handed out by Lady Stacey means that he cannot apply for parole until 2040 at the earliest. 

The extra sentence handed out by Lady Haldane means that he could spend even longer behind bars, his best years behind him. 

In April 2018, Kenny Reilly, said to be a friend of Euan Johnston's, was shot dead as he sat in his car at a set of traffic lights in Maryhill Road. 

In February, this year four men, including a father and son, were convicted of that murder and given life terms totalling 94 years 

The judge Lord Beckett said that people who were "prepared to engage in such meticulously planned and ruthlessly perpetrated assassination on the streets of our cities can expect substantial punishment". 

It remains to be seen whether the punishments handed out by the courts for the murders of Johnston and Reilly will deter such crimes in the future.