Ten held after shopkeeper is shot dead

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The Independent Online

An innocent shop worker was killed by a hail of bullets last night, police said yesterday. The 27-year-old was shot at least six times while at work behind the counter at Brookhouse Wines supermarket in Salford, Manchester.

A lone gunman walked into the store at 9pm and fired the shots at the shop assistant before escaping in a car. The victim, who has not yet been named, was treated at the scene by paramedics and taken to hospital where he died shortly after arriving.

Ten people, including two women, were arrested and are currently in police custody. Detective Superintendent Rebekah Sutcliffe, from Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said: "This is an absolutely horrific attack. Every indication suggests that, tragically, he was genuinely an innocent bystander who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"There is no reason to think that he would be a target and no indication that it was gang related. "We can speculate that it was a robbery gone wrong but nothing was stolen so at the moment we have no motive."

She said this type of incident is extremely rare in the community, adding the force had referred the case to police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission but she would not explain why. The murder weapon has not yet been recovered but the escape vehicle, a blue Mazda, was later found burnt out in Wigan.

The ten suspects were not arrested at the scene and Ms Sutcliffe said they were located at various addresses in the Greater Manchester area. Police have not yet identified the victim but local residents said he went by the name of Max, though this is not thought to have been his real name.

One resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "My wife used to work there with him. He was a good Muslim, he led a straight life and kept himself healthy. "He was very friendly and gave out sweets to local children. It is very sad."

Another neighbour said she heard the gunshot followed by sirens 15 minutes later. "I spoke to someone who was in there at the time. They just walked in and shot him. He dipped down under the counter but he didn't have a chance," she said. There is a CCTV camera outside the shop but residents said the equipment did not work.