Merseyside murder hunt after driver shot at wheel

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Police in Merseyside are investigating the murder of a 35-year-old man who was shot dead at the wheel of his Land Rover.

Officers called to what appeared to be a road accident discovered the man had been shot in the head through the windscreen while driving. His Land Rover crashed into an oncoming Ford Focus, injuring its driver.

Police said they did not believe the killing, which happened at 9.15pm on Saturday in Halewood, was a random attack.

"When officers attended the scene, the driver of one of the vehicles, a gold-coloured Land Rover Discovery, was found to have suffered a head injury, thought to have been caused by a firearm. He died at the scene," confirmed a spokesman for Merseyside Police. Chief Superintendent John Young, added: "We believe that we know his identity. We don't think it's a random shooting."

The killing happened outside a parade of shops in Mackets Lane. The victim has been named locally as Derek Stevens, but he will not be formally identified until a post-mortem examination has been completed today. Police were conducting forensic examinations in the Mackets Lane area, studying CCTV footage and making house-to-house inquiries.

Ch Supt Young said: "Our firearms officers say they couldn't attempt to shoot someone like that. We don't think it's been an expert gunman."

Mr Young admitted the police had no leads about the gunman and have appealed for witnesses.

The 36-year-old man was driving the Focus suffered whiplash and minor injuries and was treated by ambulance staff at the scene.

Police are also investigating another shooting in Liverpool on Saturday night. A 21-year-old man was shot in the leg in a "targeted attack" at a house in the Kensington area. Police believe several men forced their way into a property at about 9pm and shot the man.

In Manchester, police are appealing for witnesses after a 25-year-old man was shot in the right leg as he walked across a park in the Burnage area of the city on Saturday night. He managed to get himself to hospital for treatment. His injuries are not believed to be life threatening.