Gunman opens fire on teenage boys

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Police are hunting for a masked gunman who opened fire on a group of teenagers playing in a Manchester street, shooting a 15-year-old boy five times.

In what police believe was a targeted attack, the teenager, from Ardwick, was shot in the chest, back, groin, buttocks and thigh. He remains in a serious condition in hospital.

The boy was just yards from his home when he was fired upon shortly before midnight on Saturday evening. His 13-year-old friend, from Longsight, who was also hit, is in a stable condition and being treated for a wound in his left leg.

Armed police were guarding the hospital where the two boys were being treated. The pair are among the youngest victims of gang-related violence in Britain.

They had been playing with friends on a grassy pedestrian strip that links Billing Avenue to another street in Ardwick Green. A silver car carrying five men drove up beside the group and one of the gang, wearing a balaclava, stepped out of the car and fired several shots at the group.

The boys were both bleeding heavily when the ambulance reached the scene shortly afterwards.

Greater Manchester police Superintendent Gerry McGowan said that detectives were still trying to find a motive for the attack.

"We cannot say what was the motive and early indications are that this is not a random attack, although we cannot say whether the youths who were hit were the intended targets," he said.

Police were unable to confirm the type of weapon used and said no firearms had been recovered from the scene of the shootings.

They have appealed for information from the public as they try to further piece together information regarding the men in the silver car. The gunman is described as about 6ft tall with a muscular build and wearing dark clothing.

There were at least two witnesses to the attack.

Bicycles belonging to the teenagers that were left as they fled, remained strewn across the cordoned off area of the road yesterday as forensic scientists carried out investigations.

House to house inquiries were also being conducted and a section of road was being examined.

Ardwick is just east of the Moss Side district of Manchester where there was much gang warfare in the 1980s and 1990s. Huge factories which once made the area prosperous have mostly closed down, leaving many in the town unemployed.