Man shot dead in garden attack

A 24-year-old man was shot dead in a back garden today in what is believed to be a targeted attack.

The man, described as "polite and lovely" by neighbours, was shot dead in the Top Valley area of Nottingham shortly before 1am.

Police discovered the man at the back of the terraced house in Heatherington Gardens with a single gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Detectives said the shooting was not a "random attack" while the victim is believed to have had a "connection" with the gunman.

A 50-year-old woman, who lives near the where the shooting happened and knew the victim, said he was a keen Nottingham Forest fan.

She said: "He was a lovely boy. He was really clean and decent and went out of his way to say hello.

"It's quietened down a lot here. There are not a lot of youths hanging around. It's horrible that something like this has happened. I cannot get my head round it."

Another neighbour added: "My son is 23 and went to school with him. He was part of the football lads and I don't think he was any trouble."

Heatherington Gardens was cordoned off as forensics officers in white suits examined the scene for evidence. A police woman stood guard outside the house while officers worked at the property, protected by a blue and white tent.

Six police cars and vans were parked along the road as detectives knocked on doors speaking to neighbours.

The victim was from the Bestwood area of Nottingham, the same part as gangland boss Colin Gunn. A police spokesman said he could not comment on whether the shooting was linked to the remnants of Colin Gunn's gang.

In a statement, Nottinghamshire Police said: "Local officers are carrying out high visibility patrols in the area and the address remains cordoned off while inquiries continue. A detailed forensic examination of the scene is ongoing.

"A dedicated incident room has been set up at Radford Road police station and a team of detectives are following up a number of lines of inquiry."

Gunn, who ran what was an described as an organised crime cartel in and around the estates of north Nottingham, was jailed in 2006 to 35 years in prison for conspiring to murder the parents of a man he blamed for the death of his nephew.

Before he was jailed, he was implicated in a series of shootings in Nottingham, leading to the city being dubbed and the country's "Gun Capital".

But since he was jailed there have only been two fatal shootings in the city.

Councillor Graham Chapman, deputy leader of Nottingham City Council, said: "You have got to feel for the family. Police have got on top of the problem (of gun crime). This is certainly unfortunate but I am confident that the police will sort this out."

This afternoon a group of teenagers arrived at the scene of the shooting. A few were crying but they didn't lay flowers or speak to reporters.

Neighbour Alison Wheeldon said she was woken up as police arrived on the street shortly before 1am.

She said: "There was loads of dogs barking outside quite loudly and my dog then started going absolutely mad so I've jumped out of bed, looked out the window and seen police, ambulances, armed police running round, dogs running round. It's quite shocking and scary to see that."

Resident Andrea Henderson said she heard noises in the night but thought it was just "young 'uns having an argument". She added: "It's a very nice, quiet street. I moved here in December and I've never had anything like this. I'm really shocked and I think it's very sad for the parents of that child, that young man."

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